Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.
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Looking for the best region in Class B girls basketball this season? It's a slam dunk. Region 3 is stacked. Four teams have been ranked in the top 10 all season and another (Kidder County) has been knocking on the door. When region tourney time rolls around in a couple of weeks in Jamestown, Kidder County coach Dan Welder expects an excellent atmosphere.
Few teams in the state tighten the screws defensively like St. Mary's. It's a big reason the Saints are 12-2 and ranked No. 2 in Class A. Tuesday night, St. Mary's put the clamps on Jamestown, limiting the Blue Jays to 39 points in a 20-point home victory, 59-39.
Mandan continues to pile up the points in the early stages of the season. The high-scoring Braves, ranked fourth in Class A, hit their average Tuesday night in a 76-65 victory over Jamestown. Mandan outscored the Blue Jays 17-6 over the final nine minutes of the game. "We have a lot of weapons. We've been doing better lately moving the ball, being patient and taking better shots," Mandan coach Abby Thomas said. "We have a lot options offensively. We feel good about that and being able to get a win over a good team tonight."
Ben Weisbeck wanted basketball to be fun again. The two-time all-state performer at St. Mary's was burnt out at Augustana University, the NCAA Division II program of the NSIC. He left the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based program and did not know what was next. He took a semester off to weigh his options, a decision he called, "The best thing I ever did." With likely just one year of eligibility remaining, he needed to make the right decision. Based on early returns at the University of Jamestown, Weisbeck has done that and again found happiness on the court.
BISMARCK—Jamestown, the top team in the West Region, was all business Thursday afternoon. The Blue Jays rolled into the West Region tournament semifinals with a 3-0 win over Dickinson, 25-20, 25-9, 25-15. "We knew they'd come out fighting hard, but we just wanted to play our game," senior Alyssa Ukestad, who served four of the Blue Jays' 10 aces. "We just played the way we always try to and it's been successful for us." No kidding. The win pushed Jamestown's record to 34-4. They face Bismarck in the semifinals today at 5 p.m.
A couple years ago when my grandma died, my mom asked if I would give a speech at the funeral on behalf of my massive throng of cousins. Having spent a summer living with my grandma, and having great affection for her, I felt pressure to produce something good. I felt that same pressure writing this column because after nearly 18 years this is my swan song as a sports writer at The Jamestown Sun. See, I'm a terrible handyman. I once tried to hang sheetrock in my basement and it ended up looking like a piece of swiss cheese.
Through two games, the Jimmie football team has had a hard time keeping up. That dilemma figures to be the issue again today as the University of Jamestown faces Dakota Wesleyan and it's high-flying offense led by quarterback Dillon Turner, one of the best players in the NAIA. "Offensively, they're very explosive. They've had a very productive start to the season," said UJ head coach Josh Kittell.
The second half of last week's win over Watford City was a whopper for the Blue Jays. Jamestown outscored the Wolves 40-0 and outgained them 307-34 over the final 24 minutes, but come Monday it was back to work. "We have things we have to clean up so we can play to our full potential," said senior nose tackle Raymond Dunn. "In the second half last week we got it rolling. That showed what we're capable of, but it was just one half of one game. We have to play like that all game, every game. That's what we're going for."
Minot tops Jays
With a loaded lineup returning, there aren't a whole bunch of ABs or innings available on the Jimmie baseball roster this fall. Still, University of Jamestown head coach Tom Hager padded his roster with another promising recruiting class. After all, there is no such thing as having too many good players. "Championship baseball teams not only have lots of talent, but they have depth and the right pieces of the puzzle," Hager said. "We feel like we have the pieces of the puzzle, we just need to figure out where they fit."