FARGO — When West Fargo Sheyenne sharpshooter Maggie Manson put up her first shot of Thursday’s, North Dakota Class A state girls basketball tournament game, it was blocked by Bismarck Century’s Lauren Ware.
Welcome to playing against a 6-foot-4 sophomore center who is already being recruited by Division I schools. Welcome to playing against a Century team that has lost only once this season. Welcome to playing in your school’s first state tournament in the Fargodome — where Sheyenne lost 66-42 to a Century team playing in its 34th state tournament.
Despite giving Century fits with a trapping, pressing defense in the first half, Century ended up relying on Ware —who had 22 points, 16 rebounds and 8 blocked shots — and junior point guard Lilly Keplin who had 20 points and 4 rebounds.
“We felt like getting off to a good start was important since it was our very first state tournament,” said WF Sheyenne head coach Brent Hintz. “But to say we have to control those two (Ware and Keplin) and actually do it are two completely different things.”
Sheyenne jumped out to a 7-3 lead but trailed at halftime 33-22. Manson, a junior guard who has verbally committed to play at the University of North Dakota, ended up making 5 of 7 3-pointers to score 15 points. But Century made her earn those points.
“If she is open for even a second, she gets the shot up and it usually goes in,” Keplin said of Manson.
“Somebody had to find her,” Century coach Ron Metz said of Manson. “She’s too great of a player to leave her open.”