FARGO — Jamestown’s Jacob Hilgeman played what his coach called “the half of his life.” Hilgeman propelled the Blue Jays to a runaway first half in their 71-54 victory over Devils Lake in the North Dakota Class A boys basketball quarterfinals Thursday, March 12, at Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.
The Blue Jays advance to the state semifinals where they will play West Fargo Sheyenne at 8 p.m. Friday back at the SHAC.
Hilgeman dominated early in the first half, scoring 14 points in the first 10 minutes. He drained a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Blue Jays a 25-10 lead with eight minutes to go in the first half. He scored 23 points in the game, 21 of which came in the first half.
“Jacob Hilgeman hasn’t shot that much in a half,” Jamestown head coach Jacoby Lloyd said. “We knew he could score and we’ve been begging for him to shoot the ball as much as he did. It was a great time to have the half of his life. We’ve seen this from him in practice, but he hasn’t had the confidence and tonight he had the confidence.”
Jamestown got off to a fast start, taking a 14-4 lead after a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Brooks Carroll. Carson Lamp followed that up with a jumper to make it 16-4 with 12 minutes to go in the first half.
“It was really important to get out and show what we had right away,” Lamp said. “We had intensity and we just put them away in the first half.”
Jamestown double- and even triple-teamed Devils Lake 6-foot-10 forward Grant Nelson early on and tried to force his teammates to beat them. The North Dakota State commit let his teammates have open looks as the Blue Jays keyed on him early, but he started to take over on the ball in the second half. After scoring 11 points before the break, he put up 16 in the second half to finish with 27.
“You’re not going to take anything away from Nelson when he’s determined to go to the basket,” Lloyd said. “He was enemy No. 1. He is a great player. It’s all about making it as difficult as possible to limit his opportunities. I can see why NDSU wants him, I’m sure a lot of other places wanted him. He’s a stud.”
Devils Lake: Nelson 27, Widmer 12, Frelich 10, Longie 3, Fee 2.
Jamestown: Hilgeman 23, Lamp 18, B. Carroll 15, Levin 6, Beach 5, Van Berkom 2, Mimong 2.
Halftime: Jamestown 41, Devils Lake 26