Comets edge Jimmies for title
Mayville State won the rubber match, and as a result, the hardware.
It was just the third loss of the season for the No. 3-ranked Jimmies, with two of the three coming to the 11th-ranked Comets (24-3). Both teams will advance to the NAIA Division II national tournament, which begins March 12 in Sioux City, Iowa. Pairings will be released tonight at 7 p.m. at naia.org.
“Our girls gave it all they had. I was really proud of their effort,” Jamestown coach Greg Ulland said. “You have to give Mayville credit. They’re a very good team. It was a great game.”
Like the first two meetings between the teams, this one went down to the wire.
Morgan Mathison’s third 3-pointer of the game with 3 minutes, 10 seconds remaining put the Jimmies ahead 69-68.
But the Jimmies scored just four points the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, the Comets got a pair of buckets from Liza Hoglo in the 9-2 run. Hailey Longtin chipped in with a pair of free throws as Samantha Heier added a driving bucket and the Comets pushed their lead to 78-71.
“They just made a few more plays down the stretch,” Ulland said.
Neither team led by more than six points until the waning seconds.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Mathison and Chelsey Frydenlund put the Jimmies ahead 44-38 with 15:30 to play in the second half, but the Comets stormed back with a 15-3 run capped by a jumper from Brooke McNary that gave Mayville State a 55-49 advantage midway through the second half.
The Jimmies had 12 players score, while the Comets had six girls tally eight points or more.
“We played a lot of kids like we normally do and tried to wear them down, but they didn’t break at all,” Ulland said. “We played pretty well. There were a few things here and there we could’ve done better, we just came up a little short.
“Great atmosphere. Our crowd really was supportive. Lot of fun, just wish we could’ve found a way to pull it out, but we’ll be OK.”
Hannah Steele sank three 3-pointers and led the Jimmies (26-3) with 21 points. Morgan Mathison added 13 and had a game-high 10 rebounds, but nobody else had more than six points. Jamestown was sitting in good position to get one of the four No. 1 seeds for the 32-team national tournament. How the loss affects that will be determined tonight.
The Comets likely improved their seeding a little. Longtin led the way with 17 points. Hoglo (16), Heier (13) and Rude (11) were also in double figures. All-American post Marcisa McMillan had just eight points before fouling out late.
McMillan was named the league’s MVP, while Steele was named the most valuable graduating senior. Steele and Jordan Bridges were named first-team all-conference, while Jessica Buck was selected for the second team. Kyra Dewald was named newcomer of the year.
Mayville State’s Dennis Hutter was named coach of the year.
North Star Athletic Association Tournament
Mayville State 82, University of Jamestown 73
Mayville State 33 49 — 82
Jamestown 32 41 — 73
Jamestown — Kyra Dewald 6, Hannah Steele 21, Carly Jensen 3, Kadie Savage 1, Maggie Seter 6, Chelsey Frydenlund 5, Jordan Bridges 6, Jessica Buck 3, Morgan Mathison 13, Arei Stokes 5, Alexis Watts 1, Megan Pold 3. Totals: 21-67 FG, Three-pointers: 10-23 (Steele 3, Mathison 3, Dewald, Jensen, Frydenlund, Seter), 21-33 FT, 37 Rebounds (Mathison 10), 24 Fouls, 10 Assists (Steele 3), 15 Turnovers, 7 Steals, 1 Blocked shot.
Mayville State — Samantha Heier 13, Hailey Longtin 17, Liza Hoglo 16, Kay Laforet 4, Missy Kassube 2, Sabrina Rude 11, Marcisa McMillan 8, Brooke McNary 2, Angela Tauer 9. Totals: 24-58 FG, Three-pointers: 10-28 (Longtin 4, Rude 3, Tauer 2, McMillan), 24-33 FT, 43 Rebounds (McMillan 11), 20 Fouls (McMillan 5), 13 Assists (Heier 5), 6 Steals, 3 Blocked shots.