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Nelson hits game-winner, Jamestown beats Midgets

Jamestown’s Tyler Ukestad drives by Dickinson’s Luke Herauf on Friday night at the JHS gym. (Chris Aarhus / The Sun)

Scott Nelson stayed calm amid the chaos.

The Jamestown High School junior came down with the ball after a mid-air scuffle and drained a jumper from the elbow with 5.2 seconds remaining to lift the Blue Jays to a thrilling 55-54 West Region win over Dickinson on Friday night at the JHS gym.

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“It felt good coming off my hands,” said Nelson, who had seven points. “We practice tough-situation shots — getting them off and releasing quick.”

Dickinson called a timeout immediately afterward and set up a play. The Midgets went the length of the court and got a six-foot shot from the baseline, but it went off the front of the rim, preserving Jamestown’s win.

“Our kids ran that last play to perfection,” Wilson said. “We ran it the way we were supposed to and we were in position. That’s what I’m proud of.”

Nelson’s shot came after a clutch 3-pointer in the left corner from Dickinson junior Mark Erickson. The Midgets’ only trey put Dickinson up 54-53 after it spent nearly the entire game playing from behind.

Jamestown called a timeout, but coach Kelley Kessler didn’t draw up a play.

“We don’t have set plays,” Kessler said. “We teach our kids how to play basketball. If you’re running a set play and it breaks down, the kids don’t know what to do. Scott just went with it.”

Ashton Johnson found himself with the ball on the perimeter and drove to his right, launching a shot from the free-throw line. However, Dickinson got a hand on the ball from underneath, sending the shot 15 feet high, directly above Johnson.

Nelson came down with it and buried it.

“A lot of times, kids just stop and watch that happen,” Kessler said. “We continued to play. Scott continued and he was rewarded for it.”

It was a welcome win for the Blue Jays (3-3), who trailed Devils Lake on Tuesday for most of the game and rallied, only to fall short. Kessler said this game was a good example of the mindset that the coaching staff is trying to instill.

“It’s a thought process you have to have,” he said. “You have a lead for a whole game and somebody comes back. Weak-minded people can be deflated, and we’re trying to get our athletes in Jamestown to believe that we can do this stuff — that we can accomplish something like that and get it done in the face of adversity.”

Jamestown’s Nick Fuchs had a team-high 14 points, and Logan Anderson added 13 points and 13 rebounds. Dickinson tied the game at 39 midway through the second half, but Fuchs answered with a free throw and a layup to help boost Jamestown’s lead to two possessions.

Jamestown, which hosts Williston today, led 27-24 at halftime.

Luke Herauf paced the Midgets (0-5) with 14 points. Dickinson struggled to shoot mid-to-long-range shots, but benefited from a good inside game.

Wilson wasn’t disappointed.

“It’s unfortunately gonna be a mark on the right side of the column, but our team took a huge step forward,” he said. “We competed for an entire game. We hit a shot, and they hit a shot. It was a fun basketball game to play.”

Jamestown 55, Dickinson 54

Dickinson 24 54

Jamestown 27 55

Dickinson: Luke Herauf 14, Levi Jordheim 9, Dylan Skabo 8, Aanen Moody 7, Parker Egli 6, Mark Erickson 5, Mac Rohr 5. Totals 21-50 11-19 54

Jamestown: Nick Fuchs 14, Logan Anderson 13, Scott Nelson 7, Landon Weiser 6, Marc Wagner 5, Ashton Johnson 4, Ross Monson 2, Tyler Ukestad 2, Joey Gebhardt 2. Totals 21-56 11-20 55.

3-pointers: D 1-14 (Erickson), J 2-12 (Johnson, Nelson). Rebounds: D 28 (Jordheim 7, Herauf 7), J 40 (Anderson 13, Fuchs 9). Assists: D 11 (Egli 3), J 7 (Anderson 2). Total fouls: D 21, J 18. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: D 14, J 19.

Records: D 0-4 region, 0-5 overall. J 2-1 region, 3-3 overall.

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or