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Deacons girls basketball beats Spartans to start East Region tournament

Wednesday, February 28, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Reile Payne of Shanley shoots on Fargo North during their East Region Tournament girls basketball quarterfinal game Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, at Shanley. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

 

FARGO—Fargo Shanley head coach Steve Jacobson kept clapping. Trying to push the pace of fast breaks, Shanley threw the ball out of bounds multiple times.

The Deacons weren't letting up, and Jacobson was alright with that.

The No. 2-seeded Deacons stayed aggressive as they powered their way to a 74-50 win over No. 7-seeded Fargo North in the East Region girls basketball quarterfinals on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at Shanley High School.

"We just know we play better when we push the ball, so even if we throw a ball out of bounds and turn it over in the fast break, we still try to fast break the whole game," Shanley's Reile Payne said. "We just have to play our game and push ourselves."

Shanley, the five-time defending East Region champion, looked poised for another postseason run from the very beginning. North, which hasn't been to the conference semifinals since 2013, kept pace with Shanley in the first few minutes and was down by four points after a layup by Mary Sem.

But the Deacons (17-5) went on a 17-5 run that included drives by Payne and a Caira Berg 3-point play. Payne, who averaged an East Region-best 19.8 points, scored seven of Shanley's first 21 points, had 19 points by halftime and ended up with a game-high 26 points.

Shanley outscored North 34-12 to finish the first half en route to a 28-point lead going into halftime. The Deacons held onto that lead despite the Spartans keeping pace in the second half.

"Right away from the beginning, our offense was really looking good," Payne said. "We just kept pushing throughout the whole game. Even if we got tired, we just pushed through it."

Shanley ended up shooting 31 of 72 (43 percent) while North shot 19 of 60 (31 percent) from the field. Shanley also had a 43-36 rebounding advantage thanks to Berg's double-double of 13 points and game-high 11 rebounds.

"We talked a lot, which always helps us," Berg said. "We just did what we planned."

Elise Bakke led North (9-14) with 14 points on 5 of 15 shooting. The Spartans had to beat No. 10 seed Fargo South 59-46 last Saturday in an East Region play-in game to get to this point and still have to win two games in the consolation bracket to make their first state tournament appearance since 2011.

North head coach Aryelle Jones Schiller believes the Spartans still can get there.

"I'm definitely not counting us out yet," she said. "The state tournament is the ultimate goal."

Shanley moves on to play in the East Region semifinals against No. 3 seed Grand Forks Red River at 7:15 p.m. Friday, March 2, at North Dakota State's Scheels Center.

"We're obviously ready for the tournament," Berg said. "We knew they were going to come out tough, so we had to come out tougher."

Halftime: FS 50, FN 22

FN: Bakke 14, Astrup 9, Kommer 7, Naseth 6, Faulkner 5, Cody 4, Sem 3, England 2.

FS: Payne 26, Huber 12, Berg 13, Vetter 10, Rivard 7, Christmann 2, Wanner 2, Dabbert 2.


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