Blue Jays great defensively, Minot gets the edge in total scoring
The Jamestown High School girls basketball team hosted Minot on Jan. 21.
JAMESTOWN — On Jan. 13, 2022 Maggie Fricke made a half-court shot at the buzzer to clinch a 62-61 win over the Jamestown High School girls basketball team.
A year later, Fricke and the Majettes' just dribbled it out the last seven seconds.
Minot snapped Jamestown's five-game win streak, downing the Jays 57-51. The Blue Jays are now 6-4 in the West Region and 7-4 overall.
The loss is the Jays' first since the team faced Century in Bismarck on Dec. 29. Blue Jays will be back at it on Tuesday, hosting Bismarck Legacy at 5:45 p.m.
"This game was a good mark of seeing where we are at in terms of the WDA," JHS head coach Andy Skunberg said. "We know that Minot is one of the top teams and we know that we have to be in the top four to go to State so it's fun to play those upper-echelon teams.
"We came battling tonight," he said. "We held them to 57 points it was just that offensively, we couldn't get anything going and that's what killed us."
Both teams posed tough defenses in the opening half — highlighted by the fact that the ball game was scoreless until Minot's Leelee Bell hit a 3-pointer at the 14:30 mark. About a minute later, the 6-foot-2 freshman dodged three Blue Jay defenders and laid one in to put her team up by five and forced Skunberg to burn his first timeout.
Out of the timeout, Blue Jay senior Breanna Oettle hit a three-pointer and went on to score five more in the next four minutes to get Jamestown within 12 of the Majettes.
The Blue Jays' aggressive defensive work drew up four fouls in the first 11 minutes while Minot only put one in the books. The Jays' defensive efforts did a great job of limiting Minot's overall scoring as only six off the Majettes' roster scored points.
"That's probably the best team defense we've played this year," Skunberg said. "They have a lot of shooters — gotta give Leelee (Bell) and (Maggie) Fricke credit, they made some tough shots — but I thought our girls defended them pretty well and we've just got to tip our hat when they make some of those shots."
Bell and Fricke — both freshmen — were the Majettes' leading scorers. Bell hit 20 total points while Fricke notched 15.
Skunberg said he thought the Jays played with an uncharacteristic timidity in the opening half.
With Bell sitting under the basket, the Jays didn't go for much at the hoop and 3-point shots weren't landing as much as they would have liked.
That's why it's a game of two halves.
"The second half we attacked a lot better," Skunberg said. "We squared up our shoulders a little bit more and made some of those shots around the hoop. We still left a lot of them out there but we can grow and learn from that."
Minot hit 18 straight points to begin the second half but steady scoring from the Jays' eventually got the Jays' within 14 of the game leaders.
"We can't get 14 points in a possession so we were just looking to get a score, get a stop and then get a score again and keep chipping away," Skunberg said.
Oettle was the top-scorer with four three-pointers notched en route to her 16 points. Teagan Bosche came out of the woodwork for the Jays on Saturday, posting 11 total points. Bosche was the one who snapped Minot's second-half scoring run.
"She had some open looks and she hit a couple of them — especially in that second half," Skunberg said of Bosche. "That helped."
Leah Trumbauer's pair of 3s gave her six of her eventual eight points scored while Katie Falk hit two buckets and a pair of free-throws all in the second half.
Oettle hit a 3-pointer with 1:15 remaining to be followed up with another from Ella Falk to make it a six-point game — Minot leading 57-51
A couple of missed shots and stops by the Majettes finished out the 36 minutes but Skunberg said he was still proud of his team and the progress they have made from the start of the season.
"We're starting to understand how to chip away at a lead," Skunberg said. "That's what we did — got it down to below 10 and then it kind of fizzled out (but) give Minot credit and give our team credit for not giving up."
Minot 57, Jamestown 51
MIN 29 28 — 57
JHS 17 34 — 51
MIN — Leelee Bell 20, Maggie Fricke 15, Maya Aguilar 13, Karew Lamoureux 5, Avery Lunde 2, Presley Bennett 2. Totals: 24 FG, 1-5 FT, 10 fouls. 3-pointers: Aguilar 3, Bell 3, Lamoureux 1, Fricke 1.
JHS — Breanna Oettle 16, Teagan Bosche 11, Leah Trumbauer 8, Katie Falk 6, Ella Falk 5, Peyton Waliser 5. Totals: 19 FG, 3-9 FT, 13 fouls. 3-pointers: Oettle 4, Bosche 2, Trumbauer 2, E. Falk 1, Waliser 1.