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Blue Jays knock off host Bismarck

The Jamestown High School girls basketball team made a strong statement about where it feels it is, competitively, in the West Region. Coming off a five-point loss to Bismarck Legacy, the Blue Jays regrouped and hit the road, stunning Bismarck Hi...

The Jamestown High School girls basketball team made a strong statement about where it feels it is, competitively, in the West Region.

Coming off a five-point loss to Bismarck Legacy, the Blue Jays regrouped and hit the road, stunning Bismarck High 78-66 on Tuesday night at Karlgaard gym.

"It's tough to win at Bismarck High, but the girls came out and played hard," Jamestown coach Andy Skunberg said. "Bismarck came out firing right away, but we just kept battling back."

Taylor Schmeichel poured in 21 points including four 3-pointers, leading four players in double figures. Free throws paved the way for the victory, as Jamestown finished an incredible 36 of 40, led by Bailey Lamp's 10-of-10 effort. She tallied 18 points in the win.

"That was pretty impressive," Skunberg said of his team's free-throw performance. "We tell the girls that free throws can make or break you. I wish we could do this every night."

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Emily Reiten and Megan Gaffaney added 15 and 13 points, respectively, for Jamestown, which held a 40-35 lead at halftime and allowed the Demons to lead just once (60-59) in the second half.

Bismarck jumped out to an 8-2 lead to start the game, looking every bit the team that was playing in front of its home crowd. However, minutes later, Jamestown took a 17-13 lead on Schmeichel's made 3-pointer and ensuing free throw make, a four-point play that shifted the tide in favor of the Blue Jays.

Bismarck fought off Jamestown's free throws with 11 3-pointers.

"Watching the Dickinson game, they really didn't shoot a lot of 3s," Skunberg said. "We knew we had to weather the storm."

The two teams were tied at 35 in the final minute of the first half, when Schmeichel buried a 3-pointer and Lamp added two free throws for a five-point lead at the break.

Junior Coral Gillette, a transfer from Virginia, led the Demons with 26 points, as the 6-foot-1 guard drained six 3-pointers with the final one tying it at 63 with around six minutes to play.

But Gillette was the only Demon to score over the final seven minutes, and Jamestown's defense tightened down the stretch, surrendering just one Gillette free throw over the final 2:30.

The Blue Jays went 8-of-8 from the free-throw line in the final minute to seal the deal.

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"They play aggressive defense, so we wanted to play aggressive against them and take it to them," Skunberg said. "Get some easy points. We executed and made our free throws, too."

The win happened without senior point guard Meghan Orr, who suffered a head injury against Legacy and didn't play. She likely won't play in the team's home opener against Bismarck St. Mary's on Friday.

Skunberg said the Blue Jays (1-1 West Region, 1-1 overall) need to stay even-keeled at this point, despite the big win.

"We're small, but we've got to be more conscientious on box outs and getting rebounds," he said. "It hurt us against Legacy, and it hurt us (vs. Bismarck). We need to limit second-chance points. Lots of little things to shore up if we want to do anything in the West Region."

Boys

Connor Hellebust scored 25 points including four 3-pointers in just 18 minutes of play as the Demons improved to 2-0 under first-year coach Jordan Wilhelm with a convincing 72-51 win over Jamestown.

The game was tied at 27 at halftime, but Jamestown ran out of steam in the second half, struggling to guard the perimeter.

Bismarck finished 7 of 9 from the long range in the latter stanza including back-to-back 3s by Hellebust and Ernest Grant that gave Bismarck a 16-point lead with under six minutes to play.

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Jamestown senior Noah Wanzek had brought his team to within three at 43-40 with a dunk, but the Demons responded with a 9-0 run, jumpstarted by a 3 from Hellebust.

Wanzek scored Jamestown's first eight points of the game, but was held to four the rest of the way.

The loss spoiled a good outing from senior guard Tanner Lunzman, who dropped 23 points on Bismarck including 13 in the first half.

Jamestown (0-2 West Region, 0-2 overal) welcomes in St. Mary's on Friday.

Girls

Jamestown 78, Bismarck 66

Jamestown: Taylor Schmeichel 21, Bailey Lamp 18, Emily Reiten 15, Megan Gaffaney 13, Genna Bruns 7, Chloe Dunn 4. Totals 18 36-40 78.

Bismarck: Coral Gillette 26, Sadie Lone Bear 14, Lexi Kerzman 8, Jaycee Walter 6, Emily Omvig 3, Micaela Casey 2, Emma Steckler 2, Cara Haussler 1, Maisie Patzner 1, Shelby Wittenburg 1. Totals 24 7-18 66.

Halftime: J 40-35. 3-pointers: J 6 (Schmeichel 4, Gaffaney, Bruns), B 11 (Gillette 6, Lone Bear 4, Omvig). Turnovers: J 11, B 14.

Records: J 1-1 West Region, 1-1 overall. B 1-1, 1-1.

Boys

Bismarck 72, Jamestown 51

Jamestown: Tanner Lunzman 23, Noah Wanzek 12, Ben Hanson 6, Jake Reuther 5, Logan Anderson 3, Paxton Kleinknecht 2. Totals 17-44 14-21 51.

Bismarck: Connor Hellebust 25, Brayden Thomas 16, Ernest Grant 11, Jordan Mann 8, Ian Schafer 5, Seth Siverson 4, Ethan Hauff 2, Bo DelaBarre 1. Totals 29-61 6-11 72.

Halftime: Tied at 27. 3-pointers: J 3-12 (Lunzman, Anderson, Hanson), B 8-20 (Hellebust 4, Mann 2, Schafer, Grant). Rebounds: J 29 (Wanzek 5, Anderson 5), B 35 (Thomas 10, Grant 8). Assists: J 12 (Lunzman 3), B 19 (Siverson 4, Mann 4). Fouls: J 12, B 19. Turnovers: J 14, B 7.

Related Topics: JAYSBASKETBALL
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