Jimmies hang on to beat No. 20 VikingsJamestown College men’s basketball coach Justin Wieck makes no bones about removing players from the game after they’ve picked up their second foul in the first half.
By: Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown College men’s basketball coach Justin Wieck makes no bones about removing players from the game after they’ve picked up their second foul in the first half.
“The guys know if they get two fouls, they’re gonna sit,” he said.
JC standout Mark Hoge found himself in that situation, getting his second foul with 9 minutes, 24 seconds remaining in the first half on Sunday at the Civic Center. And as required, Hoge sat down.
“I committed a stupid foul,” Hoge said. “I wasn’t happy. I had to sit and pay the consequences.”
He made up for it in a big way.
Hoge didn’t have any foul trouble to worry about the rest of the way, playing every minute and pouring in a game-high 26 points as the Jimmies upended 20th-ranked Valley City State 69-66 in the championship game of the Dakota Tip-off Classic.
“We really needed this game, just like we need every game,” said Hoge, whose team improved to 10-12. “We struggled a little bit in the first half (of the season), but we got it figured out. I’m just happy to get a win.”
As usual, Hoge was instrumental. The 6-foot-3 junior guard from Ironton, Minn., easily surpassed his average of 18.7 points per game, sinking 6-of-14 from the field to go with a 12-of-13 effort from the free-throw line. He also grabbed 11 rebounds.
“I drove a lot from the baseline,” said Hoge, who scored 22 in the second half. “They were leaving the baseline open, so I just took what they gave me.”
As good as he was, two of the game’s biggest shots came from his teammates.
Trailing 58-55, JC’s Jared Sutherland and Davon Thomas drilled back-to-back 3-pointers late in the second half that forced the Vikings to play from behind. The treys served as the final lead change.
Hoge put JC up 69-63 with 4.9 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws, but Valley City point guard John Raquel dribbled down and nailed a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds to go. After a timeout, Raquel intercepted the inbounds pass at halfcourt and got up a long 3-pointer, but it was just off to the right, bouncing off the backboard without touching the rim.
Valley City coach Jeff Kaminsky pointed to offensive rebounding as a major contributor. JC won that battle 12-4 and beat the Vikings 40-31 on the boards.
“Way too many second opportunities,” he said. “We gave them 12 extra possessions. Tough to beat them like that. I thought that was pretty significant in the game.”
Valley City’s Sekani Milligan had 18 points and Gus Kueber finished with 16 in the loss.
With Hoge on the bench in the first half, the Vikings had an opportunity to increase their 18-11 advantage. Thomas wouldn’t let that happen, though, posting 13 of his 18 points including three triples.
The two teams played to a draw without Hoge on the floor, each scoring 19 points to close out the first stanza.
“We’re not a one-man show,” Wieck said. “Mark does a lot for us, offensively, but we have confidence in everybody on the roster.”
JC, which hosts Mayville State on Thursday night, finished 17-of-21 from the free-throw line.
More importantly, the Jimmies used free throws to weather a shooting drought in the second half. They went nearly seven minutes without a field goal, but did make 10-of-11 from the charity stripe, eight of which came from Hoge. Thomas and Sutherland’s 3s ended the drought.
“It’s hard to guard people from the free-throw line,” Kaminsky said. “We have to do a better job of not fouling. They didn’t sink a field goal, yet they took control of the game. That doesn’t make much sense to me.”
Jamestown College 69, Valley City State 66
Valley City 37 29 — 66
Jamestown College 30 39 — 69
Valley City — Sekani Milligen 18, Gus Kueber 16, John Raquel 10, A.J. McDonald 9, Aaron Duske 6, Patrick Rogers 3, Chris Embden 2, Dillan Ostrom 2. Totals 24-53 9-17 66
Jamestown College — Mark Hoge 26, Davon Thomas 18, Breshion Tucker 8, Jared Sutherland 6, Dan Janu 5, Taylor Newton 4, Beny Collins 2. Totals 22-59 17-21 69
3-pointers: VC 9-21 (Milligen 3, Kueber 2, McDonald 2, Raquel), JC 8-24 (Thomas 4, Hoge 2, Newton, Sutherland). Rebounds: VC 31 (Raquel 5), JC 40 (Hoge 11). Assists: VC 12 (Raquel 3), JC 11 (Newton 7). Steals: VC 5 (Raquel 4), JC 5 (Andre Maund 2). Blocks: VC 1 (McDonald), JC 1 (Collins 2). Total fouls: VC 20, JC 18. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: VC 11, JC 10.
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org