Spartans hand Firebirds 69-61 setback

Ray Maloney, Sports
Devils Lake’s Chelsea Kurtz and Fargo North’s Kira Larson eye a free throw and await a possible rebound during second-half action of Tuesday’s game. Kurtz scored eight points, but the Firebirds lost the game 69-61.

As Tuesday’s high school basketball game between visiting Fargo North and Devils Lake rolled toward its closing minutes, it appeared Devils Lake would secure another win on its home court.

The Spartans had other ideas.

Fargo North used a 17-4 run over the final 5:09 to claim a 69-61 win over the Firebirds at the Devils Lake Sports Center.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for North, which opened the season 10-3. The Spartans are now 11-6 on the year and 7-5 in the Eastern Dakota Conference.

The Firebirds fall to 7-5 in the EDC and are now 10-7 on the season.

A pair of free throws by Stephanie Mertens with 5:09 remaining in the game gave Devils Lake a 57-52 advantage and clear momentum of the contest.

But that all began to unravel as Fargo North’s Angie Waller put back a missed Spartan shot at the other end of the floor less than 30 seconds later.

Waller’s basket started a 15-0 run by the Spartans that allowed the visitors to overtake the Firebirds.

Haley Reinholz’s 3-pointer at 4:08 brought the two teams into a 57-57 tie.

It was the eighth tie of the game.

A steal and a layup by Alyssa Dehne put the Spartans in front to stay at 59-57 with 3:52 left in the game.

Dehne, a junior, led the Spartans with a game-high 23 points. She made six of 23 shots from the floor and was a perfect 10 of 10 from the free throw line, including four of four from the charity stripe in the final minute to secure the win.

She also finished with seven steals and handed out six assists for Fargo North.

Waller finished with 19 points and was the only other Spartan to end the game in double digits.

Hannah Elshaug led Devils Lake with a team-high 16 points, while Mertens and Haley Prozinski finished with 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Fargo North (69): Alyssa Dehne 23, Angie Waller 19, Haley Reinholz 6, Alyssa Wixo 6, Kira Larson 4, Kelsey Skunberg 3, Mia Lopez 2.

Devils Lake (61): Hannah Elshaug 16, Stephanie Mertens 15, Haley Prozinski 10, Chelsea Kurtz 8, Jacklyn Knowski 6, Mackenzie Wade 3, Kasi Eisenzimmer 3.

Halftime: Fargo North 33, Devils Lake 33

3-pointers: FN 4 (Reinholz 2, Dehne 1, Skunberg 1), DL 3 (Knowski 1, Mertens 1, Eisenzimmer 1). Rebounds: FN 53 (Waller 8, Larson 7), DL 41 (Elshaug 8, Prozinski 7). Fouls: FN 18, WL 20. Fouled out: Eisenzimmer. Assists: FN 7 (Dehne 6), DL 10 (Knowski 6). Steals: FN 15 (Dehne 7), DL 4 (Eslhaug 2). Blocks: FN 0, DL 1 (Prozinski 1). Turnovers: FN 18, DL 20.