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Blue Jays fall in final seconds to Minot

The Jamestown High School girls basketball team hosted Minot on Jan. 13.

jhs girls hoops 14 32 3 on minot 2 011322.jpg
Minot's Maggie Fricke finds herself surrounded by Jamestown's Anthonett Nabwe (14), Katie Falk (32) and Katie Trumbauer during high school action Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, at Jerry Meyer Arena.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Annie Nabwe had every reason to believe that she had tossed in the winning shot Thursday evening at Jerry Meyer Arena.

With less than 10 seconds left on the clock, the senior for the Jamestown High School girls basketball team drove right
past the five Minot defenders to lay in what all in attendance expected to be the game-winning shot.

Up 61-59, with two seconds left, Minot's Maggie Fricke got the ball back and the eighth grader let off a half-court buzzer-beater that secured Minot's eighth conference win of the season, defeating the Jays 62-61.

"We played great for 35 minutes and 58 seconds," JHS head coach Andy Skunberg said. "I just feel bad for the girls. They worked hard. We deserved to win that one.

"It's unfortunate but we'll grow from it, we'll learn from it and we'll have to move on for when we play again on Saturday."

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The Jays have dropped down to 4-4 in the conference standings and 5-4 overall. Jamestown is slated to host Watford City on Saturday. The doubleheader, featuring the JHS girls and boys squads, is scheduled to tip-off at 1:30 p.m.

It was a low-scoring affair the opening five minutes, with the Jays collecting on four of their eight foul shot opportunities to establish a 6-4 lead. Minot pitched an aggressive man-to-man defense under the hoop that held to the usually hot-handed Jays

A couple of long-range jumpers from Mariah Evenson gave the Majettes their first lead of the game, up 8-6. A landed shot from Leelee Bell extended the lead to four causing Skunberg to call his first timeout of the night.

"We didn't hit shots early and our defense was a little suspect early too — we gave up a lot of shots," Skunberg said.

Minot is currently ranked second in the WDA with a record of 7-1 in the conference and 8-1 overall. Prior to losing 61-55 to Bismarck High on Jan. 8, Minot was riding a six-game win streak.

"As coaches, we knew Minot would be tough," Skunberg said. "They've got young talent and athletic and they're well-coached. They have got playmakers, they hit shots and that makes them tough. It doesn't surprise us at all with where they are."

By the time the clock wound down to 6:57 remaining in the first, Minot had established the largest lead of the game, in front 18-10. Jamestown managed to throw Minot off their game for a few minutes putting up six unanswered, but the visitors responded with a 12-5 scoring run to keep ahead of the home team by nine. Avery Lunde was the Majettes' leading scorer, drilling four from downtown Fricke came up big at the stripe, burying six foul shots.

The Jays entered the break down 30-21.

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Being down at half was not anything new to the Jays.

On Jan. 15, the Jays entered the break nine points back of Mandan but a constant will to work and motivation to win caused the Blue Jays to come out on top of that one 72-60.

Ella Falk opened up the second half with a deep shot from beyond the arc. The first scoring series saw a 12-4 run by the Blue Jays that was capped off with a pair of 3s from Rylee Joseph to make it 34-33 Minot.

A diving bucket from Katie Trumbauer followed by putbacks from Nabwe and Ella Falk gave the Jays their largest lead of the
game up 39-34.

Katie Falk was the Jays' leading scorer with 13 points while Hunter Petersen and Nabwe each tallied 12 points. Joseph was the Jays' fourth scorer in double-digits recording 11 for the stat books.

"We were being more aggressive and took it to the hole a little bit more instead of just passing around," Skunberg said of the Jays' turnaround in the second. "We didn't shoot very well in the first percentage-wise but we had more wind in the second half."

Things turned physical the rest of the way, with both teams sending players to the line. Mariah Evenson tied things up at 43 but Minot proved unprepared for the six-point scoring trip by Petersen that led to a 49-43 Blue Jay lead.

While the Majettes were able to notch six, Jamestown maintained their lead, up 53-49 with just under six minutes to play.

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Minot resorted back to its physicality under the hoop notching four that tied the ball game up at 53. The Majettes managed to outscore the Jays 4-2 leading into the two-minute-to-go mark.

Up 57-55, Katie Falk was sent to the line and collected on the two-shot bonus to tie the game for the fourth time. Falk floated in a two-pint bucket to take a 59-57 lead but Minot didn't go down easy, draining another two-pointer to time it up with the 14.6 seconds left to play.

"We just have to get better in practice tomorrow and look to improve again on Saturday," Skunberg said. "It's another WDA game and Watford has always caused us problems so we've got to be ready to go."

Minot 62, Jamestown 61
MIN 30 32 — 62
JHS 21 40 — 61

MIN — Maggie Fricke 19, Avery Lunde 14, Leelee Bell 12, Mariah Evenson 11, Maya Augilar 4, Karew Lamoureux 2. Totals: 21 FG, 15-18 FT, 16 fouls. 3-pointers: Lunde 4, Fricke 1.

JHS — Katie Falk 13, Petersen 12, Nabwe 12, Joseph 11, Ella Falk 7, Trumbauer 6. Totals: 20 FG, 13-21, 16 fouls. 3-pointers: Joseph 3, E. Falk 1.

Records: Jamestown 4-4 WDA, 5-4 overall; Minot 7-1, 8-1.

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