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Packer girls hoops team win big over Spartans

Packer freshman Akealy Moton lines up for a free throw in the second half of Monday’s game at Fargo North High School. Daniel Determan

The Packer girls remain the only undefeated team in the Eastern Dakota Conference after Monday’s 76-42 win over Fargo North moved them to 5-0 on the season.

“We really rebounded from a lackluster second half against Minot,” head coach Barb Metcalf said. “I could really tell the kids upped their game. They were ready to play.”

The Packers came out of the gate strong, finding the open player and leading at halftime by 21 points. Their potent offense carried into the second half, along with a solid defensive effort that forced 24 Spartan turnovers.

The team had six players score in double digits against the Spartans.

“We have great chemistry,” freshman forward Akealy Moton said. “We really know where everyone is going to be out there.”

Moton led all players with 16 points and 13 of the team’s 38 rebounds in the game. She also hit three three-pointers. In five games at the varsity level, she is averaging just under 19 points per game.

The West Fargo front court got in on the scoring as well, as seniors Shelby Gustafson and Cassidy Nelson each scored 13 points, and Kaitlin Langerud scored 11.

They also got some points from their guards, specifically Cassidy Thorson, who scored 11 points, and Allison Enno, who scored 10.

The Pack missed just three of their 19 attempted free throws.

“When we can work that inside-out game, we are hard to stop,” Metcalf said. “We are doing really well from the charity stripe. We have be doing some things in practice that make for more of an in-game experience.”

Mistakes were also kept to a minimum, as the Pack only turned the ball over 11 times.

“We are kind of turning into the total package,” Metcalf said. “We’re not peaking yet, and that’s good. There is room for improvement, but these kids are competitors.”

West Fargo is one of two undefeated teams left in the state (Bismarck Century is the other), and while that could create problems after a team’s first loss, Moton doesn’t expect a fall from grace anytime soon.

“Even if we lose, it’s just one game,” Moton said. “We’ll be fine. We just can’t get down on ourselves. We have to look to the next game and take from there.”

Likewise, the Packer’s coach of six years sees great things her unselfish, high-scoring team, and expects strong play for the rest of the season.

“I really think we are the total team,” Metcalf said. “Who do you stop? I think that helps the kids, because there isn’t as much pressure on them. When everybody can contribute, you don’t have to rely on one. Unselfish ball is fun to watch.”

The Packers travel to Fargo South on Friday to face the Bruins at 5:45 p.m. They then head to Wahpeton on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. game.