Sarah Jacobson of Shanley goes up for a basket against Cassie Askvig of Minot during the North Dakota State Class A Girls basketball tournament Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Bismarck. Dave Wallis / The Forum
BISMARCK—Minot took undefeated, No. 1-ranked Fargo Shanley the distance in the North Dakota Class A state girls basketball quarterfinals on Thursday, but in the end, the Deacons held on to claim a 53-48 victory at the Bismarck Event Center's Exhibit Hall.
Winning streak—still alive. Chance at a historic three-peat—still alive.
Minot took a 46-45 lead with 5 minutes, 26 seconds left, forcing the Deacons to respond. Shanley closed with a 7-2 run fueled by free throws and stingy defense.
"Minot played a great game and hit the shots that they needed to hit," Shanley head coach Tim Jacobson said. "We missed some shots that normally we make, and that is the thrills of the first game at state. We gathered ourselves and played the last three minutes extremely well. We had to make a stop, and we did."
Shanley junior center Emily Dietz made two free throws with 27.6 seconds remaining to make it a two-possession game.
"Our execution was not there at the end," Minot head coach Bernie Wasser said. "It was the little things like lack of discipline and committing some turnovers. I'm proud of the effort, and I wasn't sure how far it would go, but there was no quit in this group. Defense is what kept us in the game."
Shanley was led by its pair of Miss Basketball finalists—seniors Lauren Rotunda and Sarah Jacobson.
Rotunda paced Shanley (25-0) with 22 points and reached the 1,000-career-point milestone with her first basket of the game early in the first half.
"It was in the back of my mind, but the main goal was to get the win," Rotunda said. "We knew they like to shoot 3s, but our defense was mainly focused on the inside. We needed to shift the defense later in the game."
Jacobson added 18 points for the Deacons.
Shanley's winning streak is now at 68 games—the state's overall record since the North Dakota High School Activities Association began sponsoring the sport in the 1970s.
The Deacons advance to the semifinals to play Wahpeton at 3 p.m. Friday.
Minot plays Mandan in the consolation semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday at Exhibit Hall. Senior Cassie Askvig and junior Evie Reynolds each scored 18 points to lead Minot.
HALF: S 36, M 27
MINOT: Paige Argent 2, Evie Reynolds 18, Kayla Budeau 3, Kali Askvig 5, Cassie Askvig 18, Annika Arnold 2.