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Blue Jays push fifth-ranked Minot

Jamestown's John Horgan drives to the basket against Minot's Easton Larson Tuesday during WDA basketball action at the Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Lofton Klabunde and the fifth-ranked Minot Magicians had their hands full Tuesday night at Jamestown's Jerry Meyer Arena.

Klabunde capped a 12-4 Minot run with a 3-pointer late in the second half, flipping a 55-54 Jamestown advantage to a 66-59 Minot lead with close to 2 minutes remaining in regulation. The 6-foot-3 senior forward filled the stat sheet with 19 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals, helping Minot escape Jamestown with a 73-66 victory.

"Jamestown really brought it," Klabunde said. "They didn't give us anything easy. They denied hard, made us work to get open and we had to step it up coming out in the second half if we wanted to win it."

The Magicians held a slim, 35-32, lead at the break behind three 3-pointers and nine points off the bench from sophomore guard Jaxon Gunville. But 3-pointers by the Jays' Dawson Douty and John Horgan early helped Jamestown leap ahead 44-40. Douty nailed a pair of treys and scored 10 of his 12 points after the break.

Missed opportunities, however, might haunt Jamestown. The Blue Jays went 6 of 15 at the foul line in the game and missed a few bunnies down the stretch, while also letting Minot sophomore Devin Mikell get loose for six rebounds and eight points in the second half.

Mikell ended the night with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

"Rebounding and free throws were what hurt us today," Jamestown coach Jacoby Lloyd said. "You can't give a team as talented as Minot second-chance, third-chance points. Keeping Devin Mikell off the glass was a very big challenge for everybody today."

Also hurting the bid at a potential upset, Jamestown's 6-6 junior forward Mason Walters fouled out in the final 3 minutes with Minot clinging to a 63-59 advantage. Walters posted 14 points and eight rebounds.

Minot, the three-time defending Class A state champions, were playing without all-conference senior guard Peyton Lamoureux, who was a scratch due to hyperextending a knee in practice. Boden Skunberg (13 points) and Horgan (10) also finished with double-digit scoring for the Jays.

Jamestown (3-5) entered the game having won back-to-back non-conference games against Valley City and Fargo North. Jamestown hosts Turtle Mountain on Saturday.

"I think our confidence is as high as it's been all season," Lloyd said. "We're doing a better job defensively than we were at the beginning of the year. I think we understand our roles and we're trying to maximize from there."

MIN 35 38 -- 73

JAM 32 34 -- 66

MIN—Lofton Klabunde 19, Alex Schimke 15, Devin Mikell 12, Chandler Albertson 12, Paxten Wahlund 6, Jaxon Gunville 5, Easton Larson 4. Totals 25-62 FG, 18-31 FT, 5-14 3-pointers (Albertson, Wahlund, Schimke, Klabunde, Gunville) 46 Rebounds (Mikell 11), 18 Fouls, 8 Assists (Klabunde 3), 13 Turnovers, 7 Steals (Klabunde 3).

JAM—Mason Walters 14, Boden Skunberg 13, John Horgan 10, Dawson Douty 12, Jared Kallenbach 9, Ryder Lunzman 4, Noah Wegenast 4. Totals: 27-66 FG, 6-15 FT, 6-20 3-pointers (Horgan 3, Douty 2, Walters), 44 Rebounds (Walters 8), 25 Fouls (Walters), 14 Assists (Horgan 4), 12 Turnovers, 1 Block (Skunberg), 7 Steals (Douty 2, Lunzman 2).

Records: Minot 6-1, 4-1 West Region. Jamestown 3-5, 1-4 West Region.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

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