It was hard to not get excited at Jerry Meyer Arena Friday night.
The Blue Jay girls basketball team hosted Dickinson and fell to the Midgets 68-62 in a West Region tournament play-in game. The win sends Dickinson to next week's regional at the Bismarck Event Center. The Midgets will enter the tourney facing Bismarck Century at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The loss concluded the Blue Jays' season.
"Anytime you've got a play-in game it's always tough, there's a little more stress to it because you want to get to the WDA tournament," said Blue Jay girls basketball coach Andy Skunberg. "In these games, anything can happen and it showed tonight."
The first 18 minutes saw 10 lead changes between the pair of closely matched teams. Dickinson hit 11 3-pointers compared to the Jays' seven. Senior guard Peyton Selle ended her night with 19 points. Junior Symone Beld was the team leader in scoring with 22, shooting a perfect 8 of 8 from the line and four from beyond the arc.
"They didn't miss," Skunberg said of Dickinson. "Give them credit, they played hard. They are well rounded -- they have some shooters that are shooting with a lot of confidence right now. You do that every game you are going to be in a lot of games."
Emotions were only heightened in the second half.
Dickinson went 3 of 3 from beyond the arc on their first three possessions to put the visitors up 39-31 -- the largest lead of the game. JHS clawed its way back from the eight-point deficit to take the lead 44-43. After the Midgets countered the Jays' aggressive inside game, Ella Falk came away with a huge two-point bucket and pair of foul shots to put the home team within one.
Senior Kameron Selvig led the team in her last night as a Blue Jay with 26 points. The 5-foot-9 guard sank five 3s and went a perfect 3 of 3 from the line. Grace Hegerle ended her junior campaign with 16 points. Falk ended her second varsity season with 13 points, shooting a pair from beyond the arc and three inside.
"Our girls never quit, they never gave up.," Skunberg said of his team.
The Blue Jays fell short of their goal, and Skunberg plans on using the disappointment as motivation for the 2020-21 Blue Jay basketball campaign.
"Our goal was to make it to state and we weren't even close to that," Skunberg said. "Hopefully it's motivation for the younger girls next year to do better."
The squad will be missing four key seniors on the roster next season losing Selvig, Jessa Anderson, Jessica Walter and Katherine Horgan to graduation. The group of four has been playing together and for Skunberg since elementary school. The head coach said their presence will be missed by the Blue Jay family.
"I think the world of those four seniors," Skunberg said. "I am going to miss them dearly. They worked hard, they're fun to be around, they're just a great group of young ladies. I wish them all the best in the future and, hopefully, the next set of seniors can step up and lead like they did."
Dickinson 68, Jamestown 62
D 30 38 -- 68
J 27 35-- 62
D -- Symone Beld 22, Peyton Selle 19, Taylor Nelson 9, Madison Lindley 7, Audrey Rodakowski 4, Sydney Binstock 2, Taya Hopfauf 2, Paige Balliet 2. Totals: 21 FG, 15-17 FT, 21 fouls. 3-pointers: Beld 4, Nelson 3, Selle 2, Lindley 2.
J -- Kameron Selvig 26, Grace Hegerle 16, Ella Falk 13, Katherine Horgan 3, Jessica Walter 2, Jordan Finck 2. Totals: 22 FG, 11-21 FT, 18 fouls. 3-pointers: Selvig 5, Falk 2.
Records: Dickinson 6-16, 5-16 West Region. Jamestown 9-13, 8-13 West Region.