Spartans finish it offSaturday night at the Fargodome was a microcosm of the Fargo North girls basketball season — a sluggish start followed by a furious finish. The Spartans scored 15 consecutive points during one stretch in the second half to rally for a 61-44 victory against Fargo Shanley for the North Dakota Class A state championship.
By: By Eric Peterson , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
Saturday night at the Fargodome was a microcosm of the Fargo North girls basketball season — a sluggish start followed by a furious finish.
The Spartans scored 15 consecutive points during one stretch in the second half to rally for a 61-44 victory against Fargo Shanley for the North Dakota Class A state championship.
“We are one of those teams where we didn’t have the best (regular) season so we are used to having to keep fighting and keep fighting and pushing and pushing,” said North sophomore Kira Larson, who had 16 points and 11 rebounds. “A couple weeks ago, I never thought this could happen. It’s just awesome.”
North (14-12) won its first girls state championship since 2001. The Spartans had an 8-11 record entering the postseason.
“It’s hard to explain,” North senior Alyssa Dehne said. “I guess we just played at tournament time. … It’s so cool to have another state championship for Fargo North. We really wanted it.”
Shanley (21-4) was playing in its first state title game since 1997. The Deacons had beaten North in the three previous meetings this season.
“We were 21-4 and I’m very proud of us,” said Shanley senior Sophie Kenney, who had five points, five rebounds and three assists in the title game. “We were very well-coached and this is a talented group of girls that I love to death. This stings; it’s a bittersweet way to end. … It doesn’t take away from the fact that we had a great season.”
Shanley took a 33-32 lead after senior Sarah Storandt scored in the post with 11 minutes remaining in the second half.
The Spartans, however, took control from that point. They held Shanley scoreless for the next six-plus minutes. North scored 15 consecutive points during that stretch.
“In the second half, they turned the switch,” North coach Derek Ouren said. “They grew up, they stepped up. They made plays and they did it together.”
Class A State Tournament
Shanley: Sophie Kenney, Nicole Carew. Grand Forks Central: Rebecca Fee, Caitlin Farroh. Minot: Holly Johnson. Fargo South: Meghan Roehrich. Fargo North: Kira Larson, Alyssa Dehne. Bismarck Century: Alexis Jacobs. Bismarck: Anna Hruby.
Class A player of the year: Caitlin Farroh, Grand Forks Central
Class A coach of the year: Brent Hintz, Grand Forks Central
Boys Third place Fargo North 64, Mandan 60
Brady Syverson helped Fargo North finish the season on a winning note as the Spartans beat Mandan 64-60 in the third-place game of the North Dakota boys Class A basketball tournament on Saturday.
Syverson sank half of North’s six 3-pointers and finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Nick Schultz added 12 points for North (18-7). Brady Bergeron and John Mullen each scored 10. North shot 53 percent from the field and held Mandan to 33 percent.
The Spartans, the East Region tournament runners-up, jumped out to a 15-point halftime lead (38-23) and held off a second-half rally by the Braves, the fourth seed out of the West.
The Braves (16-9) got 14 points apiece from Aaron Janz and Devin Coyle and 10 from Jacob Watson. Erron Collins had nine rebounds as Mandan outrebounded North 44-38.
Fifth place Fargo Shanley 68, Minot 59
Patrick Strom had 14 points and three teammates added 12 each as Fargo Shanley beat Minot 68-59 in the fifth-place game of the North Dakota boys Class A basketball tournament on Saturday.
Josh Rodenbiker, whose 3-pointer with four seconds left in the first half gave the Deacons (20-5) a 31-28 lead, had 12 point. So did Dylan Dunn and A.J. Jacobson.
Dunn had a team-high seven rebounds as well.
Jesse Crosby scored the first seven points of the game for Minot and finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
Girls Third place Central 75, Fargo South 60
Caitlin Farroh had a double-double Saturday as Grand Forks Central beat Fargo South 75-60 for third place.
Farroh was 8-for-19 from the field and made 7 of 8 free throws. She also pulled down 12 rebounds for the Knights (21-1).
The Knights made 27 of 33 free throw attempts, while Fargo South (17-8) was just 7-for-13.
Meghan Roehrich had 21 points and six rebounds for the Bruins.
Fifth place Bismarck Century 77, Minot 51
Hannah Larson had 12 points and 13 rebounds to lead Bismarck Century past Minot 77-51 in the fifth-place game at the North Dakota girls Class A basketball tournament on Saturday.
Century (20-5) outscored the Majettes (15-10) by 20 point from the free throw line. The Patriots were 24 of 32 while Minot was just 4-for-12. Century also scored 20 points off 21 Minot turnovers.
Brie Lynch had two of the Patriots’ five 3-pointers and 12 points. Kelsey Glatt added 11 points.
Minot did not have a double-figure scorer. Holly Johnson led the Majettes with nine points and nine rebounds.
Peterson is a sports writer for the Forum