On fire: Orr’s 36 ties single-game record,
When McKayla Orr left the game on Saturday, scoring never crossed her mind.
“I didn’t even know that, but it feels good,” Orr said of the record. “I didn’t think about scoring at all. Just played my game.”
The win vaults the Blue Jays into the Class A state tournament for the third time in the last four seasons and fifth over the past eight. Seeded fourth, Jamestown meets East Region top-seed Fargo Shanley at 5 p.m., Thursday at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.
“It totally motivated us this whole year,” said Orr, about going to state. “We’re definitely ready to go to state and perform our best.”
Orr was at her best against Turtle Mountain. Her career-high scoring total came on 12-of-15 shooting from the field including a pair of 3-pointers. She was also 10-of-11 from the free-throw line, meaning she missed just four shots. She missed just one field goal in the second half.
“She was hitting shots and the lane was wide open,” said senior Paige Peterson, who added 17 points and 10 rebounds. “It was open and she couldn’t miss.”
Many of Orr’s points came on penetration.
“(Turtle Mountain) was so spread out and the lane was open,” Orr said. “I had to take it to them.”
Not only did Orr tie the single-game scoring record of Shannon Gunville of Turtle Mountain — set in a 1999 quarterfinal game vs. Williston — she broke the previous mark of most points in a consolation game, which was Katelyn Steffan’s 33 points in 2007 against Jamestown.
Orr had a chance to break the overall record, going to the line for a pair of free-throw tries inside the final 3 minutes. However, she missed the first. She did, however, make the second to tie Gunville, leaving the game immediately after.
Orr credited Peterson with commanding much of the attention that freed her up. Peterson was named West Region senior athlete of the year. Peterson and Orr were both named to the all-West Region tournament team.
“This whole weekend, they’ve been focusing on Paige,” Orr said. “That opens up a lot more for us. We know that when we pass it into Paige, she can kick it out to one of our shooters.”
Orr finished the tournament with 66 points, tying the fourth-best three-day total in West Region tournament history. Orr also had five assists, four rebounds and four steals in Saturday’s win.
“She just had an overall outstanding three games,” Jamestown coach Andy Skunberg said. “She got us through a lot when we needed points. She’s the one we went to and she answered for us.”
Jamestown led 37-30 at halftime and Orr’s two 3-pointers early in the second half helped keep the Blue Jays from falling victim to a Turtle Mountain rally. However, it was an Emily Reiten trey from the left wing that gave the Blue Jays a double-digit lead they never relinquished.
“Give them credit, (Turtle Mountain) hit a lot of good shots in the first half,” said Skunberg, whose team outscored the Bravettes 50-22 in the second half. “We tried to tighten it up, but their shots just quit falling. We gave them one shot only, pushed the ball and got some easy buckets.”
West Region Tournament
At Bismarck Civic Center
Jamestown 87, Turtle Mountain 58
Turtle Mountain 30 28 — 58
Jamestown 37 50 — 57
Turtle Mountain: Winter Monette 18, Ashley Davis 15, Madison Keplin 6, Brooke DeCoteau 4, Syann Golus 4, Dallas Davis 3, Faith Dionne 2, Gia Davis 2, McKayla McCloud 2, Kwade Keplin 1, Ramie DeCoteau 1. Totals 23-56 FG, 6-13 FT.
Jamestown: McKayla Orr 36, Paige Peterson 17, Emily Reiten 7, Katelyn Willer 6, Erin Mullowney 6, Taylor Schmeichel 6, Addie Eamon 4, Marissa Drenth 3, Meghan Orr 2. Totals 31-60 FG, 19-22 FT.
Halftime score: J 37, TM 30. 3-pointers: TM 6-22 (A. Davis 3, Monette 2, Madison Keplin), J 6-17 (McKayla Orr 2, Mullowney 2, Reiten, Drenth). Rebounds: J 37 (Peterson 10), TM 31 (Monette 5). Assists: TM 10 (A. Davis 4), J 17 (McKayla Orr 5, Reiten 4). Steals: J 7 (McKayla Orr 7). Fouls: TM 19, J 13. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: TM 16, J 9.
Records: Turtle Mountain 10-12, Jamestown 12-10.
Senior athlete of the year: Paige Peterson
Coach of the year: Dallas Hinderer, Bismarck.
Jamestown: McKayla Orr, Paige Peterson. Turtle Mountain: Winter Monette. Minot: Cassie Askvig. Bismarck Century: Macy Lynch, Jordyn Jossart.
Mandan: Chelsea Peterson. Bismarck: Kylee Leingang, McKenzie Kiefer, Keisha Engelhardt.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or firstname.lastname@example.org