Pulling away: Blue Jays fade late in loss to Minot
Braydon Lund was hard to push around on Friday night.
“He just dominated the glass,” Minot coach Dean Winczewski said. “Braydon was big. Our inside kids played very well.”
Minot had 23 second-chance points, with plenty coming from Lund. Jamestown got within two points midway through the second half, but nine points from Lund in the final 7 minutes, 29 seconds widened the gap from seven to 19.
“They put him in a position where he can hang out at the basket and be athletic,” Jamestown coach Kelley Kessler said. “He does a really good job of it. If you have to go help on penetration, you leave him alone as a rebounder, and that’s a tough gig.”
Speedy guard Dakota Halvorson had a team-high 19 points for the Magicians, who actually shot worse than Jamestown at 43 percent (28-of-64). However a 19-of-27 effort from the free-throw line paid huge dividends. Jamestown was 8-of-19 from the charity stripe and 25-of-54 for 46 percent from the floor.
Still, Kessler said it came down to empty possessions late in the second half.
“We’re still at a point where we play well for a while, and then we have a few empty possessions and give up baskets,” Kessler said. “(The lead) extends in a hurry.”
Minot used a 10-1 run over a 4-minute span in the second half that built a 69-53 lead with more than four minutes remaining. Nick Soltis came off the bench for the Magi and drilled a pair of 3-pointers during the final six minutes. He ended with 10, while Colter Hustad and Noah Bosh each tallied 11.
Winczewski said bad play reared its head often, but the good plays made the difference.
“We’ve got a team with a lot of learning to do, but we continually get better,” Winczewski said. “We had some (bad turnovers), but they still have to go down to the other end and make some plays. That’s one thing about Kelley’s teams — they play very hard. If you’re not sharp, they’re gonna take advantage of it, and they did for a stretch.”
The run was ended by a 3-pointer off the right wing from Jamestown’s Scott Nelson. The damage had been done, though, sending Minot to its eighth win in the last nine games.
Jamestown had three in double figures, led by Noah Wanzek’s 19 points. Logan Anderson finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Nick Fuchs had 11 for the Jays, who lost their fourth straight and visit Mandan on Tuesday.
Kessler said he was pleased with the play of Wanzek, a sophomore who was 9-of-10 from the field.
“Noah plays at a level where effort’s never an issue,” Kessler said. “He gets a lot of things done, effort-wise. He’s got basketball skills and length. The next step is consistency and producing every night.”
Minot 80, Jamestown 61
Minot 38 80
Jamestown 27 61
Minot: Dakota Halvorson 19, Braydon Lund 18, Noah Bosh 11, Colter Hustad 11, Nick Soltis 10, Kolton Larson 7, Ben Bolinske 4. Totals 28-64 19-27 80.
Jamestown: Noah Wanzek 19, Logan Anderson 12, Nick Fuchs 11, Marc Wagner 7, Ashton Johnson 5, Scott Nelson 3, Tanner Lunzman 2, Joey Gebhardt 2. Totals 25-54 8-19 61.
3-pointers: M 5-11 (Halvorson 2, Soltis 2, Bosh), J 3-15 (Fuchs 2, Nelson). Rebounds: M 43 (Lund 13), J 31 (Anderson 10). Assists: M 15 (Jacob Holmen 4), J 19 (Fuchs 8, Nelson 5). Total fouls: M 18, J 21. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: M 17, J 11.
Records: Minot 6-2 region, 9-2 overall. Jamestown 2-5, 3-7.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or firstname.lastname@example.org