Blue Jay girls oh so close to catching Demons Tuesday
The Jamestown High School girls basketball team hosted Bismarck High on Jan. 31, 2023.
JAMESTOWN — There are only a handful of plays that work when you are down by two and there are only a couple of seconds remaining in regulation.
The one Haylie Hakanson attempted Tuesday night, in theory, was one of them.
With 2.4 seconds left in the Jamestown High School girls' basketball tilt against Bismarck, Hakanson nabbed a pass from Ella Falk, then turning, she launched it toward the basket from half court.
"There's not a lot of time with three seconds to get much done," Jamestown High School head girls basketball coach Andy Skunberg said. "We've been practicing a few things — had a play earlier that didn't really work — we were trying to get the momentum going toward our hoop but they did a great job of defending us — so that kind of slowed us down."
With their final shot attempt falling short, the Blue Jays lost 61-59 to the Demons. Jamestown's record now stands at 7-5 in the West Region and 8-5 overall. Skunberg and company will be back at Jerry Meyer Arena on Saturday for a doubleheader against Turtle Mountain. The girls are scheduled to tip off at 3:30 p.m. with the boys' game to follow at 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday might have wound up a loss but it certainly wasn't the shellacking the Demons were planning on delivering.
"Seeing that the first time (we played them) we lost by 19, this one was a lot more exciting to coach in," Skunberg said. "We battled the whole game, ended the first half with a 15-0 run that helped. We kind of came out flat at the start of the second half but we finally made some shots to make it a game. We had a shot at the end to try and win it but they did a great job, give 'em credit."
Down 6-0 to start, seniors Katie Falk and Rylee Joseph combined for five points to come within one of the game leaders.
Paige Breuer's pair made from the stripe extended the Demons' lead but Breanna Oettle hit one from the top of the key to knot up the score at eight and Ella Falk gave the home team its first lead of the night, sinking a pair from the stripe to put the Jays up 10-8.
Six minutes into the opening half, the score favored the Demons 18-13 but Joseph kept the Jays' chances alive with another deep 3-point shot to pull within two.
Bismarck answered with a 13-3 scoring run that pushed the Demons' lead to 12 points and forced Skunberg to call his first timeout of the game.
Eight straight from the Blue Jays seemed to frazzle the Demons and renewed the Jays' scoring and defensive energy. Skunberg said obtaining the offensive rebound was a major key for the Jays against BHS.
"We gave up a lot of offensive rebounds last week so the girls kind of had it as a goal to step that up a little bit," Skunberg said. "We have a lot of girls who have the mentality of going to get the ball and we've had that for a couple of years now so it was kind of fun to watch. I think, for the most part, we stepped up and got those boards."
Katie Falk was a ball hog under the hoop, taking away a number of second-chance shots. The senior was also responsible for sinking the bucket that pulled the Jays within two of the game leaders. Ella Falk followed her cousin's lead and got the putback that tied the game at 31 apiece. An open look for Teagan Bosche put the Jays up 34-31 at the break.
Both of the Falks were credited with 11 total points while Bosche finished with 10.
While Bismarck's eight-minute scoring drought lasted until the 16:23 mark, they came roaring back with a 14-2 scoring run to make it 45-38 Demons. Bismarck's Peyton Neumiller was the Demons' leading scorer with 14 points while Jersey Berg tallied 11 and Ali Gulleson hit 10.
Still, Jamestown remained calm, patiently chipping away at the lead until the 2.4-second mark. Senior Breanna Oettle led the Jays' in total scoring with 13 points. Joseph notched nine while Hakanson was responsible for scoring four and Jada Walter sunk one from the stripe.
"We knew they were going to press and we let that affect us a little bit," Skunberg said. "That kind of turned the tides in the second half. We knew that they were going to be aggressive and we kind of flew out a little too much on them and gave them some drive and open looks, but they're a good team, they are No. 4 in the state."
Bismarck 61, Jamestown 59
BHS 31 30 —61
JHS 34 25 — 59
BHS — Peyton Neumiller 14, Jersey Berg 11, Ali Gulleson 10, Katie Greff 9, Morgan Johnson-Colbert 8, Paige Breuer 7, Cambrie Fisher 2. Totals: 23 FG, 7-9 FT, 19 fouls. 3-pointers: Greff 3, Neumiller 2, Berg 1.
JHS — Breanna Oettle 13, Katie Falk 11, Ella Falk 11, Teagan Bosche 10, Rylee Joseph 9, Haylie Hakanson 4, Jada Walter 1. 20 FG, 13-19 FT, 10 fouls. 3-pointers: Joseph 3, Bosche 2, Oettle 1.