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Shanley guard tough to stop

Jamestown coach Andy Skunberg won’t have to play a guessing game with his quarterfinal opponent today.

He’s well aware of what Fargo Shanley does well on the court — it’s just a matter of stopping it.

Jamestown (12-10) plays the East-Region champion Deacons (20-2) in the opening round of the Class A state tournament at 5 p.m. today at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.

The Deacons are led by standout sophomore Sarah Jacobson, a point guard many coaches believe to be the best player in the East Region.

“She’s the key point on everything,” Skunberg said. “She passes well, shoots off the dribble, goes hard with her left hand and she’s a 43 percent 3-point shooter — she knows how to score. We’ve got to know where she is at all times.”

Jamestown senior Paige Peterson said keeping Jacobson’s points to a minimum could be a deciding factor. The 5-foot-9 Jacobson leads the state in scoring (21.7), assists (6.8) and from long range with nearly 60 3-pointers.

“She’s the No. 1 guard in the East, possibly the state,” Peterson said. “She’s definitely a key player that we have to stop from scoring. She runs everything in their offense. If we could get her in foul trouble, that would be awesome.”

Peterson’s no lightweight, either.

The 6-1 center, headed to Division II Augustana (S.D.), leads the West Region in scoring (19.2) and rebounding (14.2). Skunberg said Shanley plays a lot of zone, which would fit the defense more apt to keep Peterson from scoring. The Deacons gave up just 45.5 points per game this season, second only to Bismarck Century (41.3).

“They like to do a 2-3 zone and they’ll go three-quarters of the court with it,” Skunberg said. “They execute offensively and defensively very well.”

Jamestown finished second in the West Region in points allowed at 53 per game, but had the No. 6 offense with 59.4 points per game.

However, if the Blue Jays can continue to get strong performances out of point guard McKayla Orr, good things could be in store. Orr poured in a career-high 36 in a state-qualifying win over Turtle Mountain on Saturday in Bismarck. She’s the only other Blue Jay in double figures at 14 points per game.

Jamestown is looking for a second straight top-five finish after placing fifth a season ago.

“That would be awesome for all of us,” senior Addie Eamon said, “and I think we’re capable of doing that.”

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or