Just missed: Century nips Jays at state
MINOT — As good as the competition is at the Class A state tournament, that didn’t stop the Jamestown High School girls basketball team from feeling devastated on Friday night.
The Blue Jays went toe to toe with two-time defending state champion Bismarck Century, but fell short. The Patriots laid claim to a 64-60 win in loser-out play at the municipal auditorium.
“We wanted to learn something every day and get better and play our best ball at the end,” Jamestown coach Andy Skunberg said of the season. “With the exception of (Thursday’s) second half, these last eight halves were probably our best basketball.”
Known for balanced scoring, Century uncharacteristically leaned on one scorer for most of the first half. Senior Macy Lynch poured in 22 of her game-high 30 points in the first half. She hit six 3-pointers, finishing 12-of-18 from the field.
Lynch said she’s not used to shooting as much as she had to against Jamestown.
“There was one other game, but not usually,” said Lynch, whose team meets West Fargo for fifth-place at 9:30 this morning. “We set a lot of screens.”
She scored 13 in a row at one point in the first half, helping the Patriots to a 35-20 advantage. Century was coming off an opening-round loss to Fargo Davies.
“She was on fire and we didn’t have an answer for her,” Skunberg said. “We knew they were gonna shoot better than (Thursday). We held her to eight in the second half and crawled and fought to get back in it.”
The Blue Jays were more than just in it — they had a one-point lead with 56 seconds to go. However, Cassidy Wilhelm’s floater fell with 30 seconds remaining to give Century a 1-point lead, and Orr was called for a charge on the other end. Seconds later, the officials charged Jamestown’s bench with a technical foul and Jordyn Jossart made 1-of-2 for a three-point lead.
Paige Peterson missed on a short jumper with seven seconds remaining, and Jossart added two free ones to seal Century’s 20th win of the season.
“I was getting nervous because it was really close,” Lynch said. “I’m glad we fought through it and won.”
The Blue Jays received strong performances from seniors Peterson and McKayla Orr. Peterson had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Orr had a team-high 23 points, adding five boards and four assists.
Jamestown’s postgame locker room was understandably emotional. On Thursday, the Blue Jays had a seven-point halftime lead over Shanley but let it slip away in the second half. Shanley routed Fargo Davies in Friday’s state semifinal.
It was another tight one against Century that Jamestown (12-12) couldn’t hold on to.
“These seniors — I can’t say enough about them,” Skunberg said. “We may have only finished .500, but it was a lot of fun.”
Bismarck Century 64, Jamestown 60
Bismarck Century 38 26 — 64
Jamestown 33 27 — 60
JAMESTOWN (12-12): McKayla Orr 6 10-12 23, Paige Peterson 9 4-7 22, Erin Mullowney 2 2-4 8, Meghan Orr 1 3-6 5, Katelyn Willer 1 0-0 2. Totals 19-42 19-29 60.
CENTURY (20-4): Macy Lynch 12 0-1 30, Jordyn Jossart 3 4-5 12, Cassidy Wilhelm 1 2-4 4, Jenna Fitterer 1 2-2 4, Katie Scherr 1 2-2 4, Jen Benz 1 1-2 3, Alaina Furcht 1 1-2 3, Kourtney Selensky 1 0-0 2, Jaiden Schuette 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 22-48 12-20 64.
3-pointers: BC 8 (Lynch 6, Jossart 2), J 3 (Mullowney 2, McKayla Orr). Rebounds: BC 34 (Fucht 13, Lynch 10), J 21 (Peterson 11). Assists: BC 15 (Jossart 5), J 8 (McKayla Orr 4). Fouls: BC 19, J 20. Fouled out: J, Peterson. Turnovers: BC 21, J 13.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or firstname.lastname@example.org