Thunder hang on to tight 45-39 Stutsman tourney win over Titans

The Thunder had 11 points off the bench compared to six for the Titans.

bbbb mpb 23 vs griggs midkota 1 010523.jpg
Rylen Wick (23) of Medina/Pingree/Buchanan feels some pressure from Wyatt Spickler (1) of Griggs-Midkota on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, during the Stutsman County Invitational at the Jamestown Civic Center.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN — The first half between the Medina/Pingree-Buchanan Thunder and the Griggs-Midkota Titans was incredibly back-and-forth with the Thunder taking a 24-23 lead into the half. The second half stayed tight as the Thunder got a 45-39 win over the Titans on Friday, Jan. 5, at the Jamestown Civic Center.

In the loss, the Titans shot 2-for-13 from three, including 1-for-8 in the second half.

“We have good shooters and they’re just not falling right and maybe that’s part of a stagnant offense, not getting the ball moving, getting those good looks,” Titans head coach Kyle Mehus said. “But we have good enough shooters to where they’re going to fall and I think we have shooters that are going to shoot themselves out of that. They'll start falling and we’ll pick it up.”

The Titans (2-4) sprinted out to a 12-2 lead in the first quarter before the Thunder cut into it at 14-6. The inverse happened in the second quarter as it was the Thunder (2-0) who went on a huge run as they opened the quarter on a 13-4 run to make it a 23-19 game. Late in the second quarter, the Thunder’s Rylen Wick splashed a three to cut the deficit to 23-22. The ensuing inbounds pass was stolen and Terek Kinzell hit a layup with 25 seconds to go in the second quarter to push his team in front 24-23.

“I think we got some real sparks off the bench,” Thunder head coach Bob Young said. “I was really happy with Sawyer Wanzek and Terek Kinzell, they played such good basketball, and Chase Ova, those three off the bench when we had to go to them. I thought they gave us the spark we needed. We talked about in the huddle a couple times that we need to play better defense and do what we intended to do and when we did that the game came our way.”


The third quarter was also tight with the Titans’ Kyle Johnson hitting a layup to cut his team’s deficit to 33-31 with 1:15 to go in the quarter. The Thunder started to pull away in the fourth though as Rylen Wick hit a layup to push his team’s lead out to 37-31 with 6:35 to go in the game. A few minutes later, the Thunder’s Josh Moser hit a floater to put the game away at 43-36.

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The Thunder scored 24 points off 17 Titans' turnovers in the win.

“The game plan was to play good defense and get turnovers and take what we got,” Wick said. “So, we’re happy with that, that we played good defense other than the first quarter. We got off to a pretty rough start but from then on I thought we played alright defense.”

The Thunder are back in action at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6, when they take on the winner of the game between Edgeley/Kulm-Montpelier and Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter. The Titans return to the court at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 6, when they take on the loser of the game between the Rebels and the Imperials.

G-M 39, M/P-B 45

G-M: 17 6 8 8–39

M/P-B: 6 18 9 12–45

Points leaders:


G-M: Eli Larson 14, Brady Haugen 7, Kyle Johnson 6

M/P-B: Rylen Wick 14, Josh Moser 13, Sawyer Wanzek 7

Assists leaders:

G-M: Latrell Rainey 1, Johnson 1, Haugen 1, Larson 1 

M/P-B: Chase Ova 2, Wick 2, Moser 1

Leading rebounders:

G-M: Haugen 9, Carter Spitzer 7, Johnson 3, Wyatt Spickler 3

M/P-B: Wick 8, Moser 4, Adam McClellan 3, Wanzek 3


Full bracket below: 

Day One Games:

D-5 No. 1 Ellendale 61 vs. D-6 No. 4 Kidder County 35

D-6 No. 2 South Border 50 vs. D-5 No. 3 Carrington 39

D-6 No. 1 Medina/Pingree-Buchanan 45 vs. D-5 No. 4. Griggs-Midkota 39,

D-5 No. 2 Edgeley/Kulm-Montpelier vs. D-6 No. 3 Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter, 7:30 p.m.

My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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