Fargo Shanley: ‘defend ‘til the end’
FARGO -- There was a banner hanging in the Fargodome all weekend that had a team photo of the Fargo Shanley girls basketball team and the words "Defend 'til the end."...
FARGO - There was a banner hanging in the Fargodome all weekend that had a team photo of the Fargo Shanley girls basketball team and the words “Defend ‘til the end.”
When the Deacons hit the court for the first time this season in December, they did so with intentions of defending their North Dakota Class A state championship won the previous season.
Shanley was flawless in the execution of its quest to repeat.
The No. 1-ranked Deacons defeated Bismarck Century 46-38 in the championship game at the Class A state tournament Saturday.
Shanley was led by its standout juniors - all-state guard Sarah Jacobson and forward Lauren Rotunda. Jacobson finished with 22 points and was voted the tournament’s unanimous Most Valuable Player.
“We have a lot of weapons,” Jacobson said. “There were girls who stepped up and hit some big shots for us and we really buckled down on defense. It was a team victory (Saturday). We pulled together and played as a team.”
Rotunda added 18 points and had four steals in the game.
“We came out with a lot of intensity, and I thought we just played very well as a team,” Rotunda said. “It was a great way to end the season.”
Shanley finishes the season 27-0 and has now twice won state championships while going undefeated. Shanley’s 1980 girls basketball team was 22-0 in its championship season.
“We won’t really feel it until tomorrow, next week and next year,” Fargo Shanley head coach Tim Jacobson said. “As long as I have been coaching, this (season) was unbelievable that a group of young ladies could stay so calm and focused. They kept believing in what we were doing. They kept thinking that this was right, and I congratulate them totally.”
With the victory, Shanley improved its winning streak to 43 games - the longest active streak in the state. The Deacons’ string of wins is now a school record. The 1980 team followed up its title going 20-0 in 1981 for a 42-game streak before losing in the state semifinals.
The Deacons are just the seventh team in Class A to end a season with an undefeated record since 1974 and the first since 2001 when Fargo North finished its season 25-0.
Shanley led 22-15 at halftime Saturday.
Half: S 22, BC 15.
CENTURY: Jossart 9, Dennis 7, Schuette 7, Selensky 6, Scherr 6, Muggerud 2, Fitterer 1.
SHANLEY: Jacobson 22, Rotunda 18, Bucholz 4, Dietz 2.
Grand Forks Red River 63, Turtle Mountain 50
Allison Hillebrand connected for six 3-pointers in Grand Forks Red River’s 63-50 win over Turtle Mountain in the North Dakota Class A girls basketball state tournament on Saturday at the Fargodome.
Hillebrand set a new state tournament record, hitting 13 3-pointers in three games played at the state tournament breaking the previous record of 11 set by Hatti Ternes of Bismarck Century in 2006.
Lexi Robson added 12 points for the Roughriders (17-10).
West Fargo 68, Bismarck 60
Senior center Cassidy Nelson scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help lead West Fargo to a 68-60 win over Bismarck in the fifth-place game Saturday.
Junior Elizabeth Krueger added 19 points and Sophomore Akealy Moton finished with 15 points for the Packers (18-9).
Alison Fisher scored 21 points to lead the Demons (16-11).