FASTBREAK: Blue Jays again favored among Class A teams

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JHS boys basketball coach Jacoby Lloyd (left) directs the Blue Jays during a win over Watford City at Jerry Meyer Arena on Feb. 15, 2020. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

Everything is going to look different this season -- except for the majority of the boys basketball roster at Jamestown High School.

"I have so many kids returning from last year's state semifinal team that we're not necessarily going into it blind," JHS head coach Jacoby Lloyd said. "I am going to rely on a lot of returning experience to kind of take us into this coming season because it's going to look different. Everything is going to look different."

As of this writing, Gov. Doug Burgum has allowed practices to begin Nov. 30 with games to begin Dec. 14. The Blue Jays were slated to start the season hosting Bismarck Legacy on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

Lloyd said the Jays plan to stagger practices in an effort to minimize potential coronavirus exposure once they are allowed to go to work. Lloyd said the plan will be to limit gym occupancy to 15-16 team members and the coaching staff in the gym at any given time.

Lloyd also said the team does not plan to perform certain drills in practice to follow physical distancing protocols. All non-competing athletes and coaches will be required to be masked during practices and games.


The coronavirus pandemic shut down the Blue Jays' 2019 season after JHS bested Devils Lake 71-54 in the state tournament quarterfinals in Fargo. The Blue Jays finished second in the WDA after Bismarck High edged out the team in the West Region title game. The Blue Jays ended the season with an overall record of 21-4.

Despite the loss at the WDA tournament, the Jays are still predicted to be the favorite coming out of Class A.

"This year I think we might be ranked as high as we are (is) probably based off the fact that we were playing in the state tournament with predominantly with juniors and sophomores," Lloyd said. "I think (others) are looking at our program and seeing that we have everybody back."

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All eyes are looking toward the basket after Jamestown's Carson Lamp launches the ball from the 3-point line on Feb, 25, 2020, against Mandan in Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Class A's top-returning scorer, Carson Lamp, will be back for his final season with the Jays. Lamp averaged 15.9 points per game and was third in the state with 104 assists. Brooks Carroll wasn't far behind Lamp, putting up more than 14 points a game. Carroll led the state in 3-point shots made with 78. Lamp and Carroll will be joined by nine other returning seniors.

"We should be able to jump right into the season and they should know what expectations are and know what game situations are like so they can handle them at maybe a faster pace than an inexperienced team can," Lloyd said. "Experience is a luxury to have."

The Jays will be returning the state's top-shot blocker in Keith Levin, who made 33 stops at the hoop. Levin, a second-year varsity team member, recorded the second-highest returning rebound average in the state with 7.3 per game.


Shea Carroll, Jacob Hilgemann, Matt Anderson, Kade Schumacher, Ty Monson, Micah Hoke, Chase Finck and Emmanuel Kpahn will round out the returning seniors. The Jays also have four juniors who have all had experience at the WDA and state tournaments.

Even with all that experience, Lloyd still isn't exactly sure what to expect from his team other than its drive to win.

"Normal years I would be able to tell you exactly what I am looking forward to from returning players and kids that are going to step up into new roles," Lloyd said. "This year it's kind of hard to pinpoint and peg what you are looking forward to. But I am expecting my kids to kind of show up ready. They understand the magnitude of the season that they are about to have."



1. Jamestown; 2. West Fargo Sheyenne; 3. Bismarck; 4. Fargo Davies; 5. Bismarck Legacy; 6. West Fargo; 7. Bismarck Century; 8. Mandan; 9. Grand Forks Red River; 10. Fargo Shanley.

Gerber is a sports writer for the Jamestown Sun.
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