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Blue Jays can't handle Legacy, headed to loser-out game

The Jamestown High School girls basketball team faced Bismarck Legacy in the opening round of the 2022 WDA basketball tournament on March 3 in Bismarck.

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Jamestown's Anthonett Nabwe (14) shoots against Legacy's Kali Dauenhauer (33) and Aliya Selensky (44).
Tom Stromme / The Bismarck Tribune

BISMARCK — If the Jamestown High School girls basketball team would have ended their WDA Tournament quarterfinal the way they started it, head coach Andy Skunberg would be headed to the tournament semifinals Friday.

Unfortunately, it's not about how you start in basketball.

"The girls battled hard," Skunberg said. "We just couldn't get some shots to fall."

The Blue Jays dropped 68-62 to Bismarck Legacy the opening round of the regional tournament Thursday at the Bismarck Events Center. The loss drops the Jays to the loser-out game on Friday against eighth-seeded Watford City.

Jamestown swept the Wolves during the regular season, but their last win came by only seven points on Feb. 19.

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The Jays were out to a hot 14-0 start as the team once again took away the Sabers' inside game and opportunity at any second-chance points.

Breena Sand finally broke the ice for the fifth-seeded Sabers with a deep three from the left-wing.

Those deep shots would become Legacy's MO the rest of the tilt.

Legacy's first 21 points came off six 3-pointers, a field goal and a free throw. The Sabers were 7 of 18 from the deep while the Blue Jays hit 3 of 12 from behind the circle.

None of those first points were easily won by the Sabers, who had fallen in both games to the Jays during the regular season. Jamestown countered the Sabers' outside shots with a steady and strong-handed defense to keep the lead in the double-digits the opening six minutes of play.

After proving unable to go toe-to-toe with Jamestown's Annie Nabwe and Katie Falk, Legacy retreated to the backcourt
where Mia Berryhill cut the lead to single digits with back-to-back 3s to make it a 19-14 Blue Jay game with 8:30 left on the game clock.

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Jamestown's Anthonett Nabwe (14) shoots against Legacy's Kali Dauenhauer (33) and Aliya Selensky (44).
Tom Stromme / The Bismarck Tribune

Hailyn Wiegel made it 19-18 with a deep-cut 3-pointer, throwing off the Jays' gameplay. Following the Sabers' comeback, the Jays proved more tentative at the hoop.

Alece Blazek tied things up from behind the arc, forcing Skunberg to take his first timeout of the game to calm down the initial nerves out on the court.

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Katie Trumbauer gave the Jays the 27-25 lead with a backdoor cut, off an assist from Katie Falk. The Jays were shooting 39% from the floor to cap off the first half.

The Blue Jays entered the locker room up 31-28.

Hunter Petersen was leading all scorers with 13 points on the books while Trumbauer strung together seven points in the first 18 minutes.

Nabwe only contributed five points of the Jays' first 18 but the senior made a huge difference in the paint, coming up with four boards snagged at the hoop. Nabwe, typically a 55% from the charity stripe, hit 3-of-4 in the first half.

During the regular season, the Jays were 11-1 when they led at the halftime break, but Legacy didn't let history work in the Jays' favor.

Alyssa Eckroth drew up and launched one from NBA range to give her team their first lead of the afternoon. Eckroth put two more in the point column with a pair of free throws to put Legacy up 38-34.

The Blue Jays kept hustling after the Sabers, but just like she did in the first half, Berryhill drew up and made it 47-40 in favor of Legacy with a shot keyed up on the left wing.

While the Jays were having some trouble keeping momentum on their side consistently, they didn't let Legacy run away with the ball game. A monstrous block by Nabwe kicked off a 5-0 run by the Blue Jays with 6:35 left to play in regulation.

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Nabwe finished out her night with 10 points and 11 rebounds. The senior Division 1 track and field commit used her hops to make a game-high two blocks and made three steals.

Trumbauer and Petersen tied for the Jays' leading scorer title, both with 16. Ella Falk was credited with four assists and 11 points.

With two minutes left to play, the score had Legacy up by 10 but Jamestown rallied to come back within four of the game leaders. Skunberg's squad just ran out of gas in the final minutes.

"Give Legacy a lot of credit," Skunberg said. "They hit some timely shots when they needed them. We can't dwell on it as we have another game tomorrow to mentally prepare for."

Legacy 68, Jamestown 62

LEG 28 40 — 68

JHS 31 31 — 62

LEG — Berryhill 22, Eckroth 20, Dauenhauer 9, Sand 8, Hailyn Weigel 5, Blazek 3, Brooklynn Felchle 1. Totals: 22 FG, 12-18 FT, 40 rebounds, 14 fouls, 9 assists, 12 turnovers, 3 blocks, 8 steals. 3-pointers: Berryhill 5, Dauenhauer 3, Sand 1, Weigel 1, 1 Blazek 1.

JHS — Petersen 16, Trumbauer 16, E. Falk 11, Nabwe 10, K. Falk 9. Totals: 22 FG, 11-16 FT, 38 rebounds, 16 fouls, 12 assists, 14 turnovers, 3 blocks, 6 steals. 3-pointers: Trumbauer 3, Petersen 3, E. Falk 1.

Related Topics: JAMESTOWN BLUE JAYSPREP SPORTSBLUE JAYS BASKETBALL
Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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