Demons roll: State-qualifier up next for Blue Jays today
BISMARCK — A scoring blitz including an impressive 3-point barrage by Bismarck High to start the second half was the main culprit on Friday.
The No. 1-ranked Demons made 10 of their first 11 shots that included five 3-pointers en route to a 79-48 semifinal win at the West Region girls basketball tournament at the Bismarck Civic Center.
“There’s not a lot you can do,” Jamestown coach Andy Skunberg said. “We gave them some open looks, but they hit some shots. It took the wind out of our sails. They kept running in fresh girls, we got tired and it showed.”
The Blue Jays play Turtle Mountain at 12:45 p.m. today in a state-qualifier.
McKenzie Kiefer and Kylee Leingang made a combined nine 3-pointers, each finishing with 19 points for Bismarck, which held a 36-30 lead at halftime. The Demons went 13-of-26 from beyond the arc.
“We had some defensive flaws, but when a team is shooting contested shots and making them, and then we come down and don’t hit anything, this is gonna happen,” Skunberg said. “It’s tournament time. We’ve got to let this one go.”
The Demons came out firing in the second half, as Ashley Hilzendeger and McKenzie Kiefer each drilled two 3-pointers, and Kylee Leingang added another as part of a 26-8 run that effectively sank the Blue Jays.
“The first half, we tried to run and do our thing, and Jamestown did a real good job keeping up with us,” Bismarck coach Dallas Hinderer said. “The second half, we started to get more penetration and wear them down. Things came a little easier. Post touches, better looks, penetration — it opened up a lot of shots for us.”
Paige Peterson had 17 points and eight rebounds for Jamestown, which saw just two players outside of Peterson score a basket in the first 14 minutes, 19 seconds of the second half.
Jamestown stayed with Bismarck in both regular season games, suffering close losses. The first half appeared much the same way, as the Blue Jays rallied from a seven-point deficit with a 9-0 run that was capped by a 3-pointer from freshman Emily Reiten.
Jamestown’s 26-24 lead didn’t last long, though, as the Demons ended the half by outscoring the Jays 12-4.
Skunberg said keeping the game in perspective is most important. Jamestown is looking for its second straight trip to the state tournament.
“(Today) is an opportunity to get that done,” he said. “We can’t just show up and think we’re gonna win. It’s gonna be a battle.”
West Region Tournament
Bismarck High 79, Jamestown 48
Jamestown 30 18 — 48
Bismarck 36 43 — 79
Jamestown: Paige Peterson 17, McKayla Orr 9, Addie Eamon 6, Emily Reiten 5, Meghan Orr 4, Katelyn Willer 3, Allie Smith 3, Erin Mullowney 1. Totals 19-48 7-12 48.
Bismarck: McKenzie Kiefer 19, Kylee Leingang 19, Keisha Engelhardt 15, Ali Fisher 10, Ashlee Hilzendeger 7, Courtney Trolliey 6, Taylor Mann 3. Totals 26-51 FG, 14-18 FT.
3-pointers: J 3-8 (Reiten, Smith, McKayla Orr), B 13-26 (Leingang 5, Kiefer 4, Hilzendeger 2, Fisher, Mann). Rebounds: J 25 (Peterson 8), B 34 (Engelhardt 10. Assists: J 9 (Eamon 4), B 12 (Engelhardt 3). Fouls: J 15, B 19. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: J 21, B 16.
Records: Jamestown 11-10, Bismarck 19-2.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or firstname.lastname@example.org