Davies girls basketball takes control of EDC with win at Shanley
FARGO—The Fargo Davies and Fargo Shanley girls basketball teams almost mirror each other.
Most obviously, both the Deacons and Eagles have a Jacobson as a head coach. But they also both can score and win in several ways. They have the top two scorers in their conference. And just like the Deacons won at Davies earlier in the season, the Eagles got a win at Shanley.
No. 3-ranked Davies is on a five-game winning streak after getting a 66-60 Eastern Dakota Conference victory against No. 4-ranked Shanley on Friday, Feb. 9.
Davies (14-3, 14-2 EDC) now has a half-game lead over the Deacons (13-5, 14-3) in the EDC standings after trailing by the same margin going into the game. The Eagles haven't lost since their double-digit upset loss to Devils Lake in January.
"We came out and played the defense we had to play to be successful," Davies head coach Tim Jacobson said. "The biggest thing was control the tempo the best that we could, and I thought that we did that tonight."
The top two scorers in the EDC, Raegan Linster of Davies and Reile Payne of Shanley, guarded each other and both led their teams in points. Both had guarded each other in their previous matchup and both said the other is a tough defensive assignment.
Linster came into the game as the second-leading scorer in the EDC with a 19.3 points average over her first 12 games. She scored a game-high 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting and added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.
"We came out with energy, and we were just ready to go out and get after it," Linster said. "I just come out and tell myself I'm going to play as hard as I can, and whatever happens I just go with it. Tonight, I was scoring."
The Deacons were coming off a strong win over West Fargo Sheyenne at home earlier in the week and had won at Davies 76-72 on Dec. 29, which is the Eagles' only loss at home this season.
Payne ended the game with 21 points on 7-of-21 shooting to go with six rebounds. Payne led the EDC with 20.2 points per game in her first 13 games. She said the Deacons simply didn't start strong enough this time around.
"We weren't on the same page on a lot," Payne said. "We came out slow, and when we come out slow, we're just not as good as we can be."
Linster, who said the Eagles lost in their last matchup because of a slow start, gave the Eagles a spark by scoring 10 of their first 14 points to give the Eagles an early eight-point lead. Shanley cut the Davies lead to one point after scoring six unanswered. A three-point play by Carly Kottsick, who finished with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, worked the Eagles' lead back up to six at intermission.
The Deacons quickly tied the game on six straight points after halftime, but another Kottsick three-point play highlighted an 18-8 run over the course of 6:30 to get Davies a double-digit lead.
Shanley worked that lead back down to single digits in the last few minutes and revived hope. Payne scored with about a minute left to cut the lead down to four points, and the Eagles turned the ball over a few seconds later. But the Deacons missed a shot out of the following timeout and the Eagles managed to run the clock out the rest of the way.
Both Payne and Linster believe these two teams will see each other again in the postseason. Linster said beating the Deacons again will take "every last ounce" that the Eagles have.
"We showed some strength down the stretch and kept our composure. I'm always nervous about these games," Jacobson said. "What matters now is that we keep improving. That's our goal. From here on, we'll keep pushing ourselves."
Halftime: FD 30, FS 24
FD: Linster 22, Kottsick 15, Fey 12, Geffre 6, Paper 4, Simle-Askew 3, Wacha 2, Koenig 2.
FS: Payne 21, Vetter 13, Huber 7, Busek 7, Berg 6, Christmann 4, Manuel 2.