Boys rally, girls roll to stay aliveWith their seasons on the line, both Jamestown basketball teams stepped up. After the Bismarck boys and girls took care of Jamestown on Thursday in the opening round of the West Region tournament, the Blue Jays bounced back to earn victories on Friday to keep their seasons alive. The Jamestown boys overcame a 15-point second-half deficit to defeat St. Mary’s 66-64, while the Blue Jay girls used a 13-0 run late in the first half to run away from Dickinson 59-46.
With their seasons on the line, both Jamestown basketball teams stepped up.
After the Bismarck boys and girls took care of Jamestown on Thursday in the opening round of the West Region tournament, the Blue Jays bounced back to earn victories on Friday to keep their seasons alive.
The Jamestown boys overcame a 15-point second-half deficit to defeat St. Mary’s 66-64, while the Blue Jay girls used a 13-0 run late in the first half to run away from Dickinson 59-46.
Both Jamestown teams will play Mandan today with a trip to the state Class A state tournament on the line. The girls’ game is slated for 12:45 p.m. and the boys are scheduled to tip off at 4:15 p.m.
Boys Jamestown 66, St. Mary’s 64
Jamestown held the lead for less than two minutes total in Friday’s contest, but fortunate for the Blue Jays they held the lead at the right time.
Jamestown guard Danny Fischer hit an open layup with 15 seconds to go and Bismarck St. Mary’s couldn’t score on its final possession as the Blue Jays extended their season to at least one more game with a 66-64 win at the Bismarck Civic Center.
“In the end we started playing freely and competing,” said JHS coach Kelley Kessler. “That’s what we want to see out of these kids. Hopefully that’s a hurdle that we’ve taken today.”
Fischer, who missed nearly a month because of a concussion, came up huge for the Blue Jays (10-11) with a game-high 30 points, including 12 of 12 from the charity stripe.
“Danny Fischer is a competitor, he’s a heck of a player and he’s a heck of a leader,” Kessler said. “I’m just glad I have him on my team.”
The Saints, who finished the season 6-15, used an 8-0 run to start the second half to build their lead to 15 points, but Dyllan Anderson hit a pair of threes to pull the Blue Jays to within six. The junior forward finished with 12 points.
Matt Johnson, who finished with nine points, hit a three with 9:14 to go to cut the lead to three but it took until 1:17 to go in the game before the Blue Jays were able to overtake the lead.
Fischer scored seven of the Blue Jays’ last nine points, including a jumper and a free-throw to put Jamestown up 64-62.
“We’re just looking for an opportunity to play at state,” said Kessler. “Hopefully we can get over that hurdle as well and play again for another week.”
It didn’t take long for Fischer to get things going against the Saints.
The junior guard scored the first nine points for the Blue Jays, including a deep three with 14:15 to go in the first half to put Jamestown on the board.
Fischer followed up with a floater a minute later to put the Blue Jays up 5-4 — Jamestown’s first lead of the tournament — but the Saints quickly bounced back with five straight points to take back the lead.
Fischer hit a pair of free throws to tie the game back up at 15-all with 6:48 to go in the first half but once again the Saints went on a 5-0 run to take back the momentum.
“That’s what pressure does to you,” Kessler said. “They’re not in that position a lot and it’s a lot of pressure. We were thinking too much and not doing the things we wanted to do.”
Jon Preszler, who led the Saints with 19 points, converted a three-point play and Trent Bohan drilled a triple to put the Saints up 23-17, but it was an ally-oop dunk by Brad Obritsch that completely swung the momentum in the Saints’ favor in the opening half.
St. Mary’s built its lead to 10 after a three from Bohan before the Blue Jays closed out the half on a 7-4 run.
Girls Jamestown 59, Dickinson 46
Jamestown looked to still be feeling the effects of Thursday’s loss in the first eight minutes against Dickinson, but with 9:40 to go in the first half everything finally clicked.
Sophomore guard Kyra Dewald drained a three to spark a 13-0 run and give the Blue Jays a 17-9 lead with less than four to go in the half.
Melissa McMillan, after being held to just two points on Thursday, scored five points in the span of 30 seconds, including her first three-pointer of the tournament with 4:56 to go in the first half.
The Blue Jays, who shot 9.09 percent from the field in the second half against Bismarck, improved drastically from the field as they hit 45.5 percent of their shots in the first half and 40.9 percent in the game.
Dewald led the way for the Blue Jays (10-11) with 16 points and McMillan finished with 13.
The state’s leading three-point shooter hit her second triple of the game with under a minute to go in the first half to give the Blue Jays their largest lead in the half (12) before Katie Hewson dropped a three of her own to make it 24-15 at the break.
Jade Lind came up big for the Blue Jays in the second half, scoring eight points in the final 18 minutes to give her a game total of 11.
The Braves made a bit of a push in the second half when Leslie Beaudoin hit a jumper with 6:45 remaining to make it 40-34, but Jamestown’s Julie Fuchs hit a three 30 seconds later to spark a 12-2 run and all but end any chance of a Braves comeback.
Jess Herauf led the Braves with 16 points and Beaudoin followed with 10.
The Braves finished the season 4-17, including a four-game losing skid to close out the year.
West Region Tournament
At Bismarck Civic Center
Jamestown 66, St. Mary’s 64
Jamestown 28 38 — 66
St. Mary’s 35 29 — 64
Jamestown — Danny Fischer 30, Dyllan Anderson 12, Matt Johnson 9, Nate Willer 7, Kasey Gengler 4, Chase Marker 2, Jordan Thoreson 2. 14 FG, Three-pointers: 5, 23-30, 10 Turnovers.
St. Mary’s — Jon Preszler 19, Ben Weisbeck 12, Trent Bohan 11, Preston Tescher 10, Brad Obritsch 9, Travis Miller 1, Lance Becker 2. Totals: 17 FG, Three-pointers: 4, 18-30 FT, 13 Turnovers.
Records: Jamestown 10-11; St. Mary’s 6-15.
Jamestown 59, Dickinson 46
Jamestown 24 35 — 59
Dickinson 15 31 — 46
Jamestown — Kyra Dewald 16, Melissa McMillan 13, Jade Lind 11, Julie Fuchs 6, Niki Schmitz 5, Lexi Sveum 2, Kayla Thoele 2, Sophie Steinmetz 2. 20-30 FT, 24 Turnovers.
Dickinson — Jess Herauf 16, Leslie Beaudoin 10, Katie Hewson 9, Ali Moody 4, Ally Hoffman, Taylor Cooper 1, Rachel Schroeder. 12-20 FT, 29 Turnovers.
Records: Jamestown 10-11; Dickinson 4-17.
Sun sports writer David Griswold can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org