Coyotes rally past JamestownJamestown rained down 3-pointers to close out the first half on Saturday. But the second half belonged to Williston, and the Coyotes drive to make the West Region tournament was too much for Jamestown in their 65-58 win in West Region action at the JHS gym.
By: Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown rained down 3-pointers to close out the first half on Saturday.
But the second half belonged to Williston, and the Coyotes drive to make the West Region tournament was too much for Jamestown in their 65-58 win in West Region action at the JHS gym.
The win puts a struggling Williston program into regionals for the first time in three years.
“This locks us into No. 7,” longtime Williston coach Mark Slotsve said. “We haven’t been there in two years since going 10 straight years. We had to earn this one and it feels good to get it.”
The loss puts Jamestown in the play-in game against Turtle Mountain.
The site has yet to be determined, however, as both have just one region win that came over the other. Turtle Mountain, which finished its regular season this week, holds the tiebreaker on point differential, so the Blue Jays have to beat third-ranked Bismarck St. Mary’s on Tuesday or Dickinson on Thursday if they want to host. If they lose both, they’ll go to Belcourt.
Everything seemed to be going right for Jamestown in the first half, as it ended the stanza with 3-pointers from Ashton Johnson, Austin Remmick and Landon Weiser. The Blue Jays made five total in the opening half to build a 43-31 advantage by intermission.
“We were having quality possessions and we took care of the ball,” Jamestown coach Kelley Kessler said. “We found the open people.”
Nick Fuchs, who had a team-high 18 points, opened the second half with a basket to boost the Blue Jays’ lead to 14.
However, a 3-pointer from Matt Kohler got the ball rolling for the Coyotes, who embarked on a 12-0 run with another trey coming from Seth Falcon. The Coyotes’ defense on the perimeter improved, Slotsve said, and his team never trailed after Isaac Anderson made two free throws to put Williston ahead 52-51 with 7 minutes, 29 seconds to play.
“The best thing is how we responded to start the second half,” Slotsve said. “We played within ourselves and we rebounded.”
Jamestown got within one at 59-58 on two free throws from Marc Wagner with 2:30 remaining, but Falcon buried his third and final 3-pointer to deflate the Blue Jays, who didn’t score the rest of the way. Jamestown was held without a field goal for the final 4:04. Wagner finished with 10 points.
Williston’s Jayden Ferguson ended with 18 points, while Falcon added 15.
“You do something so well in the first half, you should probably stick with it,” Kessler said, referring to his players. “We stopped fronting Ferguson and we were moving too far over with our help on the perimeter. When you’re doing things right, I don’t know why you would change them.”
Williston 65, Jamestown 58
Williston 31 65
Jamestown 43 58
Williston: Jayden Ferguson 18, Seth Falcon 15, Hyrem Gentry 9, Matt Kohler 9, Brennan Goldade 8, Isaac Erickson 6. Totals 25-62 8-16 65
Jamestown: Nick Fuchs 18, Marc Wagner 10, Ashton Johnson 9, Austin Remmick 6, Logan Anderson 6, Scott Nelson 4, Landon Weiser 3, Brandon Wegner 2. Totals 22-55 9-11 58
3-pointers: W 7-18 (Falcon 3, Kohler 3, Gentry), J 5-21 (Johnson 2, Remmick 2, Weiser). Rebounds: W 34 (Gentry 8), J 41 (Johnson 6). Assists: W 9 (Goldade 4), J 1 (Hanson). Steals: W 10 (Goldade 3), J 3 (3 with 1). Blocks: W 0, J 3 (Wagner 3). Fouls: W 16, J 17. Fouled out: W, Goldade. Turnovers: W 7, J 18.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at email@example.com