JHS girls win 8th straightAndy Skunberg admitted it was far from pretty, but the Jamestown High School girls basketball team did what was needed to wrap up the second spot in the West Region.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Andy Skunberg admitted it was far from pretty, but the Jamestown High School girls basketball team did what was needed to wrap up the second spot in the West Region.
Kyra Dewald scored 15 points to lead four players in double figures as the fourth-ranked Blue Jays downed Bismarck St. Mary’s 65-47 in West Region play Tuesday at the JHS gym.
“We persevered and gutted it out,” Skunberg said.
Jamestown (12-3 region, 14-4 overall) is set to meet St. Mary’s again in the opening round of the West Region tournament, which starts March 7 in Bismarck.
“It was kind of an ugly win, but we did what we had to do to secure the No. 2 spot,” said senior Billie Buchanan, who finished with 13 points. “This is the best the Blue Jays have done in a while.”
Paige Peterson had 13 points and McKayla Orr added 12 for Jamestown, which used seven first-half points from Buchanan to hold a slim 22-19 lead at the break.
“My shot is definitely falling more,” Buchanan said. “I wasn’t really hitting those shots at the beginning of the season. After we won (some) games, I felt more comfortable shooting.”
Buchanan had six points during a 9-0 run that helped Jamestown rally from a 14-7 deficit. She made 6-of-8 shot attempts.
“She’s been another spark for us who’s making some shots,” Skunberg said. “She’s getting confident with her shooting. That’s what we want at the end of the year.”
Dewald capped a 7-0 run to start the second half with a 3-pointer from the top of the key. She had 12 points in a second half that Jamestown mostly spent at the free-throw line, where the Jays made 21-of-34 for the game. Peterson and Orr led the effort on the boards with 13 and eight, respectively.
The Blue Jays ratcheted up the defense in the second half, allowing just one field goal over the final 6 minutes, 57 seconds. The defensive effort paved the way for the Blue Jays to end the game on a 16-6 run after only leading by six points.
Sydney Miller and Katelyn Schaffner paced St. Mary’s (5-11, 5-13) with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Before regionals, however, the Blue Jays host Dickinson on Thursday night. Skunberg said he’d like to see a quicker start for that game and the regional.
“We’ve got to be a little more ready,” he said. “We’ve got to come out with a little more energy and make our bunnies. We missed a lot of bunnies tonight.”
All-state guard Ben Weisbeck poured in 27 points, as third-ranked St. Mary’s eased past Jamestown 91-55 to clinch the No. 1 seed for the West Region tournament March 7 in Bismarck.
“Any time you get the No. 1 seed, it says a lot about your team and what you’ve done,” St. Mary’s coach Joe Mueller said.
Scott Nagel (17), Trent Bohan (14) and Darius Sparks (13) were also in double figures for the Saints (14-2 region, 16-2 overall), who used a 22-0 second-half run to distance themselves from the amped-up Blue Jays.
“They’re a very, very good team, but it’s not because they’re overly talented,” Jamestown coach Kelley Kessler said. “They put more work than any team I know into their offseason. It’s something we need to do as well.”
Jamestown (1-14, 2-16) needs to beat Dickinson on Thursday at home if it wants to host the play-in game at 6 p.m. on Saturday. If the Blue Jays lose, they’ll go to Turtle Mountain for a 6 p.m. start on Friday.
Jamestown played one of its closest games of the season earlier this year at Dickinson, losing 58-55. The winner of the play-in has a first-round date with St. Mary’s, while the loser ends its season.
Kessler downplayed the significance of the close score against Dickinson.
“Just being close to them isn’t gonna get you there,” he said. “If we want to host the play-in game, we’re gonna have to earn it.”
The Blue Jays had one of their better halves of the season, offensively, against St. Mary’s to start the game. They fought to keep the game within single digits and succeeded for most of the half, until the Saints started to roll with about four minutes to go.
“That’s a tribute to the kids,” Kessler said. “They kept working and going after it, They’re putting themselves in better situations, offensively.”
St. Mary’s held a 55-36 halftime edge thanks to 11 consecutive points from Nagel.
David Hanson had 11 points to lead Jamestown, while Ashton Johnson had eight, including two 3-pointers.
Bismarck St. Mary’s 91, Jamestown 55
St. Mary’s 36 55
Jamestown 55 36
St. Marys: Ben Weisbeck 27, Scott Nagel 17, Trent Bohan 14, Darius Sparks 13, Grant Dvorak 5, Ross Kopp 3, Hunter Volk 2, Sam Mastel 2, Brian Obritsch 2, Hunter Puetz 2, Andrew Wolf 2, Cole Schmitz 2. Totals 30-58 16-20 91
Jamestown: David Hanson 11, Ashton Johnson 8, Alex McInnes 7, Austin Remmick 7, Logan Anderson 3, Nick Fuchs 2, McKade Kleinknecht 2, Landon Weiser 2, Scott Nelson 2, Lucas Keller 2, Brandon Wegner 2. Totals 18-50 15-22 55.
3-pointers: StM 5-16 (Bohan 2, Sparks, Dvorak, Kopp), J 4-18 (Johnson 2, Remmick, Hanson). Rebounds: StM 44 (Nagel 8), J 23 (Wegner 5). Assists: StM 17 (Kopp 5), J 10 (Wegner 2, Phil Manley 2). Blocks: StM 2 (Nagel, Weisbeck), J (6 (Hanson 2, Wagner 2). Steals: StM 14 (Bohan 5), J 8 (Hanson 2, Kleinknecht 2). Fouls: StM 21, J 17. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: StM 13, J 20.
Jamestown 65, Bismarck St. Mary’s 47
St. Mary’s 19 47
Jamestown 22 65
St. Mary’s: Sydney Miller 13, Katelyn Schaffner 12, Rachel Power 7, Taylor Gendreau 6, Megan Hixson 6, Jarren Fallgatter 3. Totals 16-61 10-20 47
Jamestown: Kyra Dewald 15, Billie Buchanan 13, Paige Peterson 13, McKayla Orr 12, Erin Mullowney 6, Addie Eamon 6. Totals 21-63 21-34 65
3-pointers: StM 5-19 (Hixson 2, Gendreau, Power, Sydney Miller), J 2-10 (Dewald, Mullowney). Rebounds: StM 34 (Schaffner 10), J 34 (Peterson 13, Orr 8). Assists: StM 0, J 5 (5 with 1). Blocks: StM 1 (Miller), J 3 (Eamon 2). Steals: 10 (Gendreau 3), J 10 (Orr 3). Total fouls: StM 21, J 16. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: StM 19, J 16.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org