Seniors pave way in rout
Getting off to slow starts rarely means much for the Jimmies.
“That was pretty good tonight, but we still think we can do better,” Steele said. “I felt confident. We’re very familiar with Valley City and what we wanted to do. It was definitely a good game for us.”
Even head coach Greg Ulland, a hard grader, was impressed.
“The last 26 minutes, that was about as good as we’ve been. That’s why we harp on them all the time about the little things because when they put it all together, they have a chance to be really good,” he said after his 99th win in just his fourth season. “The arrow is pointing up for us. We still want to be playing for another month, so this can’t be our plateau, but on both ends of the floor tonight the girls did a really nice job.”
After a stirring rendition of the national anthem from backup point guard Maggie Seter, the Jimmies started slowly. The Vikings capitalized, pushing out to a 10-point lead on the back of eight points from ace post player Brittany Lehner.
But, after scoring just 18 points in 14 minutes to start the game, the Jimmies blitzed VCSU with a 16-2 run and scored 28 points in the last six minutes of the opening half.
Steele, heading toward her third straight All-American season, had 17 points in the first half.
“How about Hannah? She had a monster game. You can’t play much better than she did tonight. That was awesome,” Ulland said.
Steele went out in style in her final regular-season home game. The senior from Circle Pines, Minn., dished out 14 assists to play a direct hand in more than 60 points.
“When you play with as many good girls as I have, that makes you look good,” said Steele, who always deflects credit. “When it’s clicking like that, everybody gains confidence and it’s fun to be a part of that.”
The Jimmies kept the foot on the gas in the second half, scoring 15 of the first 19 points.
Morgan Mathison’s 3-point play pushed the lead to 15 and when Carly Jensen splashed in a 3-ball, the lead ballooned to 23 (76-53) and the rout was on.
Jessica Buck scored six straight points in the 16-2 run and had a strong all-around performance with 16 points, nine rebounds, five blocked shots and three steals.
“We all know what Jessica is capable of,” Ulland said. “It was fun to see her have a game like that.”
Otherwise, it was a typically deep and balanced performance.
Carly Jensen had 10 points on senior night while Kyra Dewald, a Blue Jay product, also had 10 as 13 Jimmies scored.
Lehner led the Vikings with 22 points and nine rebounds. But this night belonged to Steele, and another trademark performance as her stellar career winds down.
“It’s a sad feeling, but I’ve had such a great time here. I love Jamestown. The support from the students and the community is just awesome. The student section tonight was the best I can remember,” she said. “I have so many great memories. Hopefully, we can make a few more.”
University of Jamestown 108, Valley City State 72
Valley City State 36 36 — 72
Jamestown 44 64 — 108
Valley City State: Tarah Cleveland 4, Erika Ettl 7, Sierra Even 12, Sadiqah Jihad 5, Ashli Lee 8, Stephanie Pedersen 2, Megan Trautman 5, Kelsey Hunter 2, Brittany Lehner 22, Courtney Dixon 3. Totals: 23-60 FG, Three-pointers: 4-17 (Even 2, Ettl, Trautman), 22-30 FT, 26 Rebounds (4 with 4), 39 Rebounds (Lehner 9), 23 Fouls (Even 5), 17 Assists (Jihad 8), 21 Turnovers, 4 Blocked shots (Jihad 2), 5 Steals (5 with 1).
Jamestown: Kyra Dewald 10, Hannah Steele 27, Carly Jensen 10, Kadie Savage 4, Maggie Seter 3, Chelsey Frydenlund 6, Paige Emmel 4, Jordan Bridges 7, Jessica Buck 16, Morgan Mathison 5, Kaeli Kraska 5, Arei Stokes 7, Alexis Watts 4. Totals: 38-67 FG, Three-pointers: 10-18 (Steele 3, Jensen 2, Dewald, Kraska, Seter, Emmel, Stokes), 22-31 FT, 39 Rebounds (Buck 9), 22 Fouls, 31 Assists (Steele 14), 12 Turnovers, 7 Blocked shots (Buck 5), 10 Steals (Buck 3).
Records: Jamestown 6-1 North Star Athletic Association, 24-2 overall; Valley City State 2-5, 12-11.
Sun sports editor Dave
Selvig can be reached
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