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Published March 26, 2013, 08:53 PM

Red River's Ripplinger, GFC's Hammer Named to Class A Girls All-State Team

Ripplinger is named to the first team for the second year in a row, while Hammer is selected to the second team.

By: Tom Mix, the Forum, WDAZ

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Two unanimous selections — Bismarck Century senior Hannah Larson and Fargo North senior Kira Larson — lead the list of honorees on the North Dakota Class A all-state girls basketball first team.

The all-state team — selected by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association — includes 11 athletes.

Joining Hannah Larson and Kira Larson on the first team are Grand Forks Red River senior Ellie Ripplinger, Jamestown senior Kyra Dewald and Fargo Shanley freshman Sarah Jacobson.

Hannah Larson capped her prep basketball career by helping the Patriots to their second consecutive state championship. She was named Miss Basketball.

Larson, a 6-foot forward, averaged 15 points per game, 11.3 rebounds per game, 2.7 assists per game, 2.8 blocks per game and 2.2 assists per game for the Patriots. She also was an all-state, first-team selection in volleyball, but has chosen to play basketball in college. Larson has yet to decide where she will play.

Larson, a second-team selection a year ago, posted 22 points, 16 rebounds and five assists helping Century to a 73-39 win over West Fargo in the state championship game.

"The main thing on her mind this season was making sure the team finished well and that is just the type of player she is," Century head coach Ron Metz said of Larson. "She did more for us than just scoring this year. There were games where she didn't lead us in scoring, but led us in rebounds, assists and blocks."

Kira Larson, a 6-foot-3 forward, led North with 16.4 points, 15.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.8 blocks per game.

Larson, a two-time first-team selection, is a three-sport standout for the Spartans and has signed to play volleyball at the University of Nebraska.

"This was by far her best all-around season in basketball," North head coach Derek Ouren said. "Everybody looks at her points and rebounds, but what impressed me most about Kira this season was her ability to find her teammates and get more assists. She did the little things well this year and leadership wise she grew too."

Like Larson, Ripplinger is making her second appearance on the first team. Ripplinger, a 5-foot-5 guard, led the Roughriders to a state tournament berth averaging 19.4 points, 3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2 steals per game.

"Ellie had a very good season," said Red River head coach and Ellie's father, Kent Ripplinger. "I wasn't sure how much she could improve on her junior season, but she did improve quite a bit.

"She has gotten better each year since she began starting for us as a sophomore," Ripplinger added. "What is impressive with her improvement this year was she was the player every team looked to stop."

Dewald, a 5-foot-4 guard, averaged 21.5 points, 3.3 assists and 4 rebounds per game for Jamestown. Dewald, who averaged 23.7 points per game in three state tournament games, led Class A in scoring and was a Miss Basketball finalist.

"She was basketball ready from Day 1 this season," Jamestown assistant coach Dean Kraft said. "Kyra has a knack for finding good shots and putting the ball in the hoop.

"She has a scorers' mentality," Kraft added. "She isn't afraid to take the big shot at the end of a close game or when the shot clock is winding down."

Jacobson, a 5-foot-8 guard, averaged 16 points, 5 assists and 2.9 steals per game for the Deacons, who finished in third place at the state tournament and with a 22-3 record.

"Sarah is a student of the game and has a high basketball IQ," Shanley head coach Tim Jacobson said. "Sarah has unbelievable drive to be at her best. When we got back from the state tournament she was in the gym shooting the next day. . She has a great career ahead of her."

The second team:

— West Fargo senior Lexi Lennon averaged 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2 assists per game.

— Fargo Shanley senior Jessica Anderson averaged 11.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.9 blocks per game.

— Grand Forks Central senior Taylor Hammer averaged 17.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.

— Belcourt senior Whitney Wollette averaged 18.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

— Mandan senior Courtney Goetz averaged 13 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

— Dickinson senior Ali Moody averaged 16 points, 8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

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