Minot’s late surge ends Jays’ seasonBISMARCK, N.D. — The Jamestown High School boys’ basketball team looked the part of a state-bound team through 26 minutes of Saturday’s state-qualifier.
BISMARCK, N.D. — The Jamestown High School boys’ basketball team looked the part of a state-bound team through 26 minutes of Saturday’s state-qualifier.
The Blue Jays were creating open looks, hitting shots and contesting shots on defense.
The final 10 minutes, however, belonged to Minot.
The Magicians hit four field goals in a five-minute span, while the Blue Jays scored just one point to allow Minot to take a 63-55 lead with just five minutes to play.
Jamestown, which was held scoreless for four of those five minutes, ended the field goal drought when Tyler Krenz hit a bucket underneath, but Minot’s Austin Frank and Brandon VanDusen teamed up to punch Minot’s ticket to this week’s state tournament with a 77-70 victory to cap off its West Region tournament in Bismarck.
“You can’t fault effort,” said JHS coach Kelley Kessler. “The team that made the plays down the stretch won tonight.”
Frank finished with 29 points, with 18 of them coming from beyond the arc, and VanDusen contributed 15 to improve Minot to 13-9 heading into state.
The Blue Jays finished their season one win shy of a state berth with a record of 10-12 after losing 10 of their last 12 games.
“(Frank) is a very, very good shooter and he got good looks,” Kessler said. “Early in the game we were switching like we wanted to and communicating like we wanted to, but towards the end we lost him a few times. Good shooters make good shots and that’s why teams go to the state tournament.”
Jamestown controlled the game for much of the first half to take a 36-31 lead into the break.
Danny Fischer helped carry the Blue Jays’ momentum over into the second half by scoring four straight points to push Jamestown’s lead to 45-36.
Frank, however, took over from there.
The junior guard drilled two threes in a one-minute to pull Minot to within two points.
“We’ve talked about this all year, when we get the ball into the post, good things happen for us, because defenses can’t just focus on our guards,” said Kessler. “In the first half we did that — we got the ball in the post and we got post touches. They made it tougher for us in the second half, but we still didn’t get the ball where it needed to be.”
The Blue Jays were able to stay on top with four points from Jordan Thoreson and a putback by Nathan Willer, but Minot eventually took its first lead of the second half after Kyle Gerding scored four straight with the help of a three-point play at the eight-minute mark.
From there, Jamestown was never able to recapture the lead.
Fischer paced the team with 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Ryan Schlenker added 12 and both Willer and Dyllan Anderson finished with 10.
The senior-laden Blue Jays will have a completely different look next season after they lose every player that touched the floor on Saturday to graduation.
“Painful,” said Kessler, when asked about losing the seniors. “Extremely painful.”
Minot 77, Jamestown 70
Jamestown 36 34 — 70
Minot 31 46 — 77
Jamestown — Danny Fischer 19, Ryan Schlenker 12, Jake Nieland 4, Arron Benson 2, Dyllan Anderson 10, Nathan Willer 10, Jordan Thoreson 9, Tyler Krenz 4. Totals: 25 FG, 15-18 FT, Three-pointers: 5 (Anderson2 , Schlenker 2, Fischer), 33 Rebounds (Fischer 8), 11 Assists (Fischer 4), 4 Steals, 1 Block, 13 Turnovers, 15 Fouls (Anderson).
Minot — Austin Frank 29, Mitchell Quist 7, Kelvin Mackey 10, Kyle Gerding 12, Brandon VanDusen 15, Colter Hustad 4. Totals: 26, 17-21 FT, Three-pointers: 8 (Frank 6, Quist, VanDusen), 28 Rebounds (Frank 6, Quist 6, Gerding 6), 16 Assists (Mackey 8), 7 Steals (Quist 3), 0 Blocks, 10 Turnovers, 17 Fouls.
Records: Jamestown 10-12, Minot 13-9.
Sun sports writer David Griswold can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/DGriswoldSun