HOME SWEEP: JHS boys roll in weekend doubleheader
The second game of a tournament-like situation went according to plan on Saturday for second-ranked Jamestown boys basketball and head coach Jacoby Lloyd.
Bismarck Century and the Blue Jays traded blows early in the first half at Jerry Meyer Arena, but the home team pulled away in a 79-57 West Region victory for the Jays. Jamestown upended Watford City just 24 hours earlier.
"We talked yesterday how this is like a WDA tournament," Lloyd said. "The second night is going to be a grind and we have to be solid. There's no days rest and you have to turn around and execute."
The lead changed hands eight times over the contest's first 11 minutes, 40 seconds. It wasn't until Boden Skunberg heated up that the Blue Jays pulled away.
The 6-foot-5 junior's 3-point play with 7:20 remaining in the first half gave Jamestown the lead for good at 24-22. Skunberg scored 12 of Jamestown's final 16 points of the half, as the Jays took a 37-33 lead into the locker room.
"He's an athlete that plays at a whole different level when he's under control and he was under control making very solid plays," Lloyd said.
Skunberg, however, battled foul trouble all night. He picked up his fourth infraction early in the second half, forcing him to the bench for roughly 10 minutes of the second frame.
"He picked up a few charges, but I didn't mind," Lloyd said. "He was being aggressive, getting to the basket. I don't want him to not play aggressive.
"He's getting his legs back, he was sick over Christmas break. That's no excuse, because every team goes through injuries. But he's getting better and stronger."
With Skunberg on the bench and with Century on the doorstep, Walters took over.
Walters, a 6-7 senior committed to University of Jamestown men's basketball, scored 10 of the next 12 Jamestown points and pushed the Blue Jays' lead to a insurmountable 67-46 late.
"Mason is a big-time basketball player," Lloyd said. "He's extremely talented and had a different look in his eye tonight. He was ready to play from the tip off."
Role players Carter Moser and Jared Kallenbach stepped up scoring 8 and 6 points, respectively.
"Our role players were huge," Lloyd said. "Jared is another coach on the court and Carter came off the bench and played one of his best games. We have a different person step up every game and it's exciting to see that.
"Once everybody steps up, we'll be a difficult team to handle."
With top-ranked Fargo Davies losing to No. 3 West Fargo 78-72 on Thursday night, Jamestown has a chance to be No. 1 team in the Class A boys basketball poll with a win Tuesday at Bismarck St. Mary's.
Lloyd said he still doesn't care where his team's ranked.
"Rankings are fun for the fans and the media. I try not to let our guys focus on that because some of the top teams in the state didn't make it to the state tournament," Lloyd said. "You've got to be focused every day, not to say they weren't, but we can't let our guys get comfortable thinking they're better than people."
The Blue Jays defeated the Saints 83-49 during the season opener at Jerry Meyer Arena back on Dec. 1. Skunberg and Walters combined for 52 points in the victory.
"They are extremely scrappy and playing with a chip on their shoulder right now," Lloyd said. "They have a lot of pride in that program, so they're going to come out with a good game plan to take away Boden and Mason. We just need to ready and react to what they do and try to make the best play."
Jamestown 79, Bismarck Century 57
BC 33 24 -- 57
JHS 37 42 -- 79
BC—Cade Feeney 23, Treyton Matten 16, Stevie Kraljic 6, Mason Peterson 5, Darin Nolz 3, Blake Stuart 2, Justice Coleman 2. Totals: 19-50 FG, 7-17 3-pointers, 12-20 FT, 20 Rebounds, 21 Fouls (Mattern 5), 15 Assists, 10 Turnovers, 4 Steals.
JHS—Mason Walters 33, Boden Skunberg 25, Carter Moser 8, Dawson Douty 3, Carson Lamp 2, Noah Wegenast 2. Totals: 30-50, 2-9 3-pointers, 17-22 FT, 36 Rebounds (Walters 14), 21 Fouls (Skunberg 5), 21 Assists, 11 Turnovers, 3 Blocks, 6 Steals.
(2) Jamestown 11-0. Bismarck Century 6-5.