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Packer girls top Magicians, move to 4-0

Cassidy Thorson of West Fargo takes the ball away from McKale Duttenhefer of Minot during the Friday night game in West Fargo. Dave Wallis / Forum News Service

The Packer girls basketball team’s hot start to the season continued on Friday when they bested the Minot Magicians 57-52 at West Fargo High School.

“I thought we played a dandy of a first half, considering we had just come off Christmas break,” head coach Barb Metcalf said. “In the second half, it looked like we didn’t have our legs back yet, but we pulled it off. It was a wonderful ugly win.”

The Pack had a difficult time putting the ball in the basket, as they shot roughly 30 percent from the field. However, solid play on the defensive end and strong shooting from the free-throw line kept them ahead throughout the game.

“Minot seemed to be in better shape, but they have been practicing all through the break,” Metcalf said. “I was really pleased that we shot 73 percent from the line.”

The Packers also managed to limit their mental mistakes, turning the ball over just seven times, compared to Minot’s 16 turnovers.

Leading the way for West Fargo was senior forward Shelby Gustafson, who had 13 points in the game and made seven of nine free throws.

In four games so far this season, the Packers have had three different leading scorers.

“That’s really nice to have on our team,” Metcalf said. “Who do you stop? It gives the kids some added confidence that they won’t have to carry the team alone.”

Freshman Akealy Moton and junior Cassidy Nelson each had 11 points of their own.

In every game so far for the Packers, at least three players have scored in double digits. Metcalf attributes this to her team’s sense of unity.

When our kids are clicking, they are clicking on all cylinders,” Metcalf said. “We all stunk together, and that is a sign of a good team. These kids will find a way to win. They have an innate competitive desire to do well.”

The girls head to Grand Forks on Friday to take on the Red River Roughriders at 7:30 p.m.