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Blue Jays upset No. 1 ranked Minot in a home court battle

The Jamestown High School boys basketball team hosted Minot on Feb. 10.

jhs boys hoops lunzman vs minot 021022.jpg
Jamestown's Mason Lunzman, top, hoevers over Aric Wincszewski of Minot before the two wrestle for the ball Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN — No one expected what ended up happening in Jerry Meyer Arena Thursday evening.

Least of all Minot.

"This was a gutsy performance from our kids to step up and play against that high of a level of competition," Jamestown High School head boys basketball coach Jacoby Lloyd said. "(Minot) is a very, very well-coached team, they play super hard, they communicate, they rebound, they shoot, they make free throws and that was getting them back in the game.

"We were very fortunate that their good shooters missed some pretty wide-open shots. You have to get lucky in basketball sometimes."

Jamestown went on to upset the Magicians 65-53
to drop the No. 1 ranked team's record down to 13-2 in the West Region. The Magicians are now tied with Century for the No. 1 overall spot.

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The Blue Jays are sitting at 6-9 in conference and 7-9 overall. Minot and Jamestown are set to face off again on Saturday in the Magic City at 4 p.m.

"I love the attitude in the locker room," Lloyd said. "Our seniors are really stepping up and accepting any role I throw at them and helping our younger kids play to that level and potential that we are looking for."

Without a doubt, it was a full team effort against the Magicians.

Minot worked to take control early hitting the first shot of the game to make it 2-0 but a lay-in from Ryan Larson and 3-pointer from junior shooter Caydann Cox gave the home team a 5-2 early advantage.

The Magicians have been aggressive all season long, forcing fouls on their opponents and typically only allowing 60 points per game. Jamestown had a good idea of who they were dealing with and set out to pitch a strong defense to pressure the Magicians.

jhs boys hoops lunzman vs minot 021022.jpg
Jamestown's Mason Lunzman, top, hoevers over Aric Wincszewski of Minot before the two wrestle for the ball Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

"We had nothing to lose and they had everything to lose," Blue Jay senior Devin Beach said of the match-up. "We had to limit their penetration. They're a big dribble-drive team so not letting them shoot layups was our main goal today."

Quick decisions on offense and some solid rebounding led to a 9-3 lead for the Jays over the No. 1 ranked team five minutes into the first half. The Blue Jays continued to box out on defense and relied heavily on Luke Van Berkom under the hoop to get the second-chance shots and find the open man.

"He was able to toughen up in the paint and go up with contact," senior Preston Kroeber said of Van Berkom. "Those are huge plays to make."

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Van Berkom came away with seven rebounds in the first half and continued the momentum in the second half. The 6-foot-7 big man tallied a double-double, knocking in 14 points and nabbing 12 total balls at the hoop.

Van Berkom's role on the inside has been newly adopted this year. Lloyd said that prior to this season, Van Berkom was a very efficient 3-point shooter for the Jays, but since graduating Keith Levin, the Blue Jays needed a new presence on the inside and Van Berkom has answered the call.

"This year, offensively, we're looking for him to slash to the inside of the basket on drives," Lloyd said. "He's really bought into that and understands that he has to be our consistent offensive and defensive rebounding threat.

"He had some critical rebounds tonight. He had one in the first half where I had no idea how he got the ball but it slid off his forearm and up into the hoop. I couldn't figure it out but I am thankful that it went it."

Jamestown's lead stretched to nine with a pair of free throws knocked in to make it 17-8. Adam Kallenbach's pair at the line kicked off a 10-5 Blue Jay run to put the home team three points short of the 30-point mark.

The traffic inside led to most of the Magicians' shots coming from 10 feet out or behind the arc, providing the Blue Jay defense a lot of room to nab the rock and keeping Minot's scoring to a minimum.

As a team, the Jays only allowed two offensive rebounds in the first 18 minutes while junior Mason Lunzman came away with five nabs at the hoop for the home team.

"They underestimated us for sure," Kallenbach said of Minot. "They didn't look like they were ready to play and thought they were just going to win."

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Darik Dissette was responsible for nine of the Magicians' 18 first-half points, five of which came from the charity stripe. A short-range jumper from Dissette capped off the Magicians' first-half scoring while it was Beach and Kallenbach who capped off the Jays' first-half opportunities.

Jamestown was in the middle of a 9-2 run when time expired in the first. Van Berkom continued the momentum with a pair of buckets on back-to-back possessions to make it a 40-18 Blue Jay game.

Minot continued to chip away at the 20-plus point Blue Jay lead, knocking down 16-22 at the foul line and navigating the inside traffic to make it 59-50 with 1:50 remaining in regulation.

A huge 3-pointer from Kallenbach and a knock-in from Van Berkom put the pressure back on Minot and the Magicians could not answer. Kallenbach was the Blue Jays' leader in total scoring with 26 total points while Beach pitched in nine down the stretch.

Lloyd is under no delusions that the Magicians will have more answers for the Jays on Saturday but the confidence he has been preaching to his squad all year has begun to take effect.

"We have to be ready for them to switch things up," Beach said. "They are not going to do the same things. They've got a really good coach.

"We've got to slow some things down and play under control and just play the Jamestown style of basketball."

Jamestown 65, Minot 53

MIN 18 35 — 53

JHS 36 29 — 65

MIN — Darik Dissette 28, Jaeger Gunville 6, Aric Winezewski 6, Eric Wentz 5, Grayson Schaeffer 4, Logan Conklin 2, Morgan Nygaard 2. Totals 17 FG, 16-22 FT, 12 fouls. 3-pointers: Winezewski 2, Gunville 1.

JHS — Adam Kallenbach 26, Luke Van Berkom 14, Devin Beach 9, Ryan Larson 6, Payton Hochhalter 5, Caydann Cox 3, Mason Lunzman 2. Totals 28 FG, 5-7 FT, 19 fouls. 3-pointers: Kallenbach, Hochhalter, Cox, Beach.

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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