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Blue Jays fall to Fargo Davies in state quarterfinals

The Jamestown High School girls basketball team lost 56-46 to Fargo Davies Friday in the state tournament quarterfinals at the Bismarck Events Center.

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Jamestown's Jordan Finck keeps her eye on the ball controlled by Taylor Safranski (30) of Fargo Davies during the state tournament Friday, March 12, 2021, at the Bismarck Events Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun

BISMARCK -- On Wednesday morning at 5 a.m., Jordan Finck was at Jamestown's Two Rivers Activity Center (TRAC) working on her shooting with her father, Darin

"I go to TRAC a lot in the offseason with my dad," Finck said. "He's like my biggest support and he always helps me."

The senior was practicing for the biggest game of her high school basketball career.

"Knowing that it was state and we had the potential to make it to the last day, I wanted to be ready for shooting," Finck said. "It just didn't work out today."

Finck and the Blue Jays fell to Fargo Davies in the opening round of the state Class A girls basketball tournament Friday afternoon at the Bismarck Events Center. The Jays beat out Mandan in the state-qualifying game last weekend to advance to the team's first state tournament in 2014.

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"It's a tough team over there," JHS head coach Andy Skunberg said of Davies. "They have a lot of athletes but our girls stepped up. Hopefully, it's a learning experience and they can move forward and build from that."

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Jamestown's Ella Falk (23) looks to the basket as she gets past Brooklynn Koenig (33) of Fargo Davies Friday, March 12, 2021, at the State Class A Girls' Basketball Tournament in Bismarck. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Blue Jays entered the state tourney as the No. 4 seed out of the WDA while the Eagles were the top seed out of the EDC. With the elimination of consolation games at this year's state tourney, the Blue Jays season has come to an end while the Eagles will advance to Saturday's semifinals where they will face Grand Forks Red River at 1 p.m.

From the opening tip, the Jays kept pace with the Eagles but shots just weren't landing and the Eagles cruised their way to an early 15-0 lead. Annie Nabwe powered her way down the court and with a spin move got past the Davies' defender to make it a 17-2 ballgame.

"We had a really good start to that game," Davies head coach Tonah Safranski said. "(But) we knew that they were going to keep playing and we just had to settle in a little bit and try to play our game."

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Jamestown's Katelyn Falk (32) and Ava Wild (40) of Davies follow thru on a two-point basket Friday, March 12, 2021, at the State Class A Girls' Basketball Tournament in Bismarck. Falk was fouled on the play. John M. Steiner / The Sun

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The Eagles' game caused the Blue Jays' defense to start to break down. Davies knocked down another five but Katie Trumbauer came up huge off the bench for the Jays. The junior made two 3-pointers to make it 22-8.

Trumbauer was the Jays' leading scorer shooting 4 of 5 from the field and knocking down all three of her foul shots for 13 points. Nabwe also cracked into double digits with 11 and nabbed a high of 12 grabs at the boards.

"(Katie) was a great spark," Skunberg said. "That's what we need at tournament time. We need people to step up and hit shots and tonight she's kind of the one that did. I am proud of her."

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Jamestown's Katelyn Trumbauer moves the ball into play Friday, March 12, 2021, at the State Class A Girls' Basketball Tournament in Bismarck. Falk was fouled on the play. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Trumbauer helped the Blue Jays do exactly what Safranski expected them to do -- keep playing.

The Blue Jays started to find their rhythm after Finck drained a deep 3-pointer to come within 13. Trumbauer, Katie Falk and Ella Falk followed five unanswered Davies' points with an 8-0 run that made it 34-25. The Jays were six behind at the half thanks to late buckets from Breanna Oettle and Trumbauer.

"When we finally settled in and just got the nerves out, we played even with them," JHS head coach Andy Skunberg said. "It was good to see."

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Jamestown's Grace Hegerle (22) drives the ball around Ava Wild of Fargo Davies Friday, March 12, 2021, at the State Class A Girls' Basketball Tournament in Bismarck. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Ella Falk cut the once 18-point lead to one with a deep 3 from the left corner to kick off the second half. The Eagles became tentative at the hoop and missed passes inside. The Jays, on the other hand, went up aggressively, holding the Eagles to five points with 13:40 left to play.

Unfortunately for the team in blue, there just weren't enough points scored to get through to the next round and Finck's basketball career came to a sudden end. Grace Hegerle and Kaylee Panchot will also be leaving the Blue Jay basketball family.

"This is it," Finck said with a shrug. "Maybe I'll play intramurals or something just to keep a ball in my hand.

"It's amazing and thrilling that we could make it this far. I am proud of them and excited to see what they can do next year."

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Jamestown's Anthonet Nabwe (14) looks to the basket while under pressure by Ava Wild (40) of Davies Friday, March 12, 2021, at the State Class A Girls' Basketball Tournament in Bismarck. Falk was fouled on the play. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Fargo Davies 56, Jamestown 46

JHS 30 16 -- 46

FD 36 20 -- 56

JHS -- Trumbauer 13, Nabwe 11, E. Falk 9, Oettle 5, K. Falk 4, Finck 3, Hegerle 1. Totals: 18-62 FG, 5-9 FT, 48 rebounds, 14 fouls, 11 assists, 26 turnovers, 2 blocks, 12 steals. 3-pointers: Trumbauer 2, Finck 1, E. Falk 1, Nabwe 1.

FD --Ava Wild 12, Brooklynn Koenig 10, Taylor Fey 10, Ryleigh Wacha 9, Taylor Safranski 6, Ashton Safranski 5, Marissa Burian 3, Makayla Selensky 1. Totals: 25-57 FG, 2-7 FT, 33 rebounds, 12 fouls, 8 assists, 19 turnovers, 8 blocks, 15 steals. 3-pointers: Koenig 2, Wacha 1, Burian 1.

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Jamestown's Breanna Oettle moves the ball around Taylor Fey (15) of Fargo Davies Friday, March 12, 2021, at the State Class A Girls' Basketball Tournament in Bismarck. John M. Steiner / The Sun

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