Century tops West FargoFARGO — Bismarck Century and West Fargo spent most of the year at the top of the North Dakota Class A girls basketball poll.
By: Tom Mix, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — Bismarck Century and West Fargo spent most of the year at the top of the North Dakota Class A girls basketball poll.
So something had to give Saturday when the top-ranked Packers played the No. 2 Patriots in the state championship game.
Senior A.J. Jacobs hit two 3-pointers in the final two minutes to help Century to a 63-60 win over West Fargo at the Fargodome. It’s the Patriots’ second state championship in three years.
“I looked up at the clock, it was tied and there wasn’t much time left,” said Jacobs, who finished with 16 points. “I just knew we had to feed off each other, focus, concentrate and shut the door.”
Jacobs’ shots certainly swung the momentum in the favor of the Patriots late.
Her first 3-pointer made it 52-50 with two minutes to play. West Fargo’s Rachel Hummel answered on the other end with a layup to tie the game.
Jacobs responded with her second 3-pointer, making it 55-52 with 1:31 left. Century never trailed after that.
“Bismarck Century is a great team,” West Fargo head coach Barb Metcalf said. “I wish we would have come out on top, but the momentum did kind of swing their way when they hit a couple of those 3-pointers at the end.”
Century was 5 of 12 from beyond the arc with Jacobs going 3 of 4.
“We needed someone to hit some big shots,” Bismarck Century head coach Ron Metz said. “We called a special play for (A.J.) on one and the other one was just off a rotation where she got open. She knows that’s free for her to shoot … She’s proven she can knock those down and stretch the defense.”
West Fargo led 32-28 at halftime, but never led by more than three points most of the second half. Century took several one-point leads in the second half, but it never stuck until Jacobs took over.
“It was a war,” Metcalf said. “It was a battle and I thought it was a heck of a championship game. Our girls played their hearts out. They have nothing to be ashamed off. We had a great season.”
The game was tied 46-all with four minutes to play. Lexi Lennon banked a long jumper off the glass to give West Fargo a 48-46 lead with 2:23 left to play. Tessa Delzer answered with a 3-pointer of Century continuing the see-saw second half.
“Whoever executed the most was going to win,” West Fargo senior Erin Krogh said. “We had some slip-ups here and there, but they executed the entire game. … It was back and forth, and whoever battled the most and had the most stamina was going to win it.”
Hannah Larson added 13 points for the Patriots (22-3).
The loss was just the Packers’ second of the season. Entering the title game, West Fargo had won 18 straight and hadn’t lost since Jan. 5 at Grand Forks Red River.
Cassidy Thorson and Christine Baltezore scored 11 and 10 points respectively for the Packers.
West Fargo was playing in its first title game since 1998. The Packers finished the season 23-2 and tied a single-season mark for wins.
West Fargo was playing without injured senior point guard Hannah Schnepf, who tore her ACL during the East Region tournament.
Mix is a sports writer for The Forum