The original Jacob Hilgemann was back at Jerry Meyer Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Hilgemann, a senior guard for the Jamestown High School boys basketball team, helped the Blue Jays to their fifth consecutive win and fourth at home. The Blue Jays easily handled now 0-9 Watford City to improve to 7-2.
The Jays are slated to travel to Bismarck Monday to take on Bismarck St. Mary's at 7:30 p.m
"We need that Jacob to play every single time," JHS head basketball coach Jacoby Lloyd said. "I think this may have been a bit of a jump-start for him to get to that point. This is the Jacob I am used to seeing."
Hilgemann has been off to a little bit of a slow start for the Jays after a standout performance in the 2020 state Class A quarterfinals last March. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the holiday break, the senior was out for the majority of the opening month of the season.
Prior to Saturday's tilt, Hilgemann had scored just 15 points, shooting 40% from the field, 11% from behind the arc and 67% from the foul line. Hilgemann said now that he has some games under his belt and is gelling with his offensive set, he is looking to end his senior season undefeated at home.
"It just took me a while to get back into the groove of things," Hilgemann said. "It helped that my teammates found me up the court when I was open. I didn't rebound too much tonight because we kind of had a size advantage inside, but I was getting up the court and my teammates were finding me."
While the Blue Jays round Hilgemann for 11 points in Saturday's tilt, the squad had a little bit of a slow start to the 36 minutes.
The Blue Jays scored just 16 points in the first eight minutes. Lloyd also said his team's defensive rebounding was also "lackluster." Early on, the Jays were a little bit slower on the rebound and missed some shots at the rim.
"We need to control our effort at all points in time," Lloyd said. "You never want to let anybody score on you, so -- regardless of what the score differential is -- it's a matter of pride within your program to stop people defensively."
Even though Lloyd had some things he would like to see sharpened up on the Blue Jays' end, it became clear that the Wolves' eight players could not keep pace with one of the West's top teams.
Carson Lamp helped to fuel a 15-0 run to put his team up 31-6. The lead continued to grow as Luke Van Berkom, Ty Monson, and Hilgemann knocked in shots to make it 51-20 by the end of the first half.
The second half began much the way the first half ended, with Watford City not scoring a point until nearly eight minutes had ticked off the clock.
Lamp and Keith Levin began to attack the Wolves in the paint, extending the Jays' lead to 40 points. The Jays played aggressively on defense forcing Watford City turnovers. The Wolves also struggled to finish shots and, as a result, many of the shots the team put up bounced off the rim.
With more than 10 minutes left to play in the first half, Lloyd subbed in a line of non-starters to help get some varsity minutes.
Daniel Ulrich thrived under the pressure, rifling off six straight concluding his run with a dunk to the delight of those in attendance. Emmanuel Kpahn, Preston Kroeber and Chase Grenz also got their shot at some varsity time. Kpahn and Kroeber combined for 10 points
"Coach was trying a couple of different lineups and they played really well together," Hilgemann said. "The starters did their thing, then when the bench players came in they played right with the starters and matched their same energy."
The Blue Jays had 13 of their 15 rostered athletes in the scoring column. Brooks Carroll was sidelined from the game due to a sprained thumb he suffered against Mandan last Tuesday. Carroll is predicted to return to the court against St. Mary's.
"Any win in the WDA is good," Lloyd said. "We're moving on to St. Mary's and they're playing really, really well right now."
Jamestown 94, Watford City 34
WC 20 14 -- 34
JHS 51 43 -- 94
WC - Ryan Domerese 10, Jalen Strickland 6, Jacob Berg 6, Kanyon Tschetter 4, Josiah Rojas 4, Caden Cluchie 2, Jason Hogue 2. Totals: 14 FG, 3-6 FT, 6 fouls. 3-pointers: Strickland 2, Tschetter 1.
JHS -- Lamp 20, Hilgemann 11, Levin 10, Shea Carroll 8, Emmanuel Kpahn 7, Luke Van Berkom 7, Dan Ulrich 6, Devin Beach 6, Kade Schumacher 5, Ty Monson 5, Adam Kallenbach 4, Preston Kroeber 3, Matt Anderson 2. Totals: 39 FG, 5-8 FT, 7 fouls. 3-pointers: Lamp 3, Carroll 2, Kallenbach 1, Schumacher 1, Kroeber 1, Kpahn 1, Hilgemann 1, Monson 1.
Records: Jamestown 7-2, 7-2 West Region. Watford City 0-9, 0-9 West Region.