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Vikings edge No. 23 Jimmies in thriller

Valley City State University's Justyn Galloway said he pictured Saturday's final play at Jamestown's Harold Newman Arena before it happened. The senior guard fought through a University of Jamestown defender near the block and corralled an air-ba...

University of Jamestown's Kevin Oberweiser prepares a launch to the net around Valley City State's Jake Skelly Saturday at Harold Newman Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun
University of Jamestown's Kevin Oberweiser prepares a launch to the net around Valley City State's Jake Skelly Saturday at Harold Newman Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Valley City State University's Justyn Galloway said he pictured Saturday's final play at Jamestown's Harold Newman Arena before it happened.

The senior guard fought through a University of Jamestown defender near the block and corralled an air-balled 3-point attempt by teammate Jake Skelly in the closing seconds. Galloway laid in the easy two points with 0.4 ticks remaining on the game clock, lifting the Vikings to a thrilling 92-91 victory over the 23rd-ranked Jimmies.

"I was imagining (Skelly) missing and I get the ball and make it. And, it happened," said Galloway, after the Vikings had trailed 91-90 with possession of the basketball and 18.5 seconds left to play. "He airballed, and I was in a good position so I went to go grab it. Then I just went up, left hand."

It was the ninth and final lead change in a wild final three minutes of play. Jamestown's rivals to the east-winners of five straight with one regular-season game left to play-leveled the score after the Jimmies came away with an 89-86 win in overtime against the Vikings at The Bubble back in December.

"Very similar game to the last one, and this time we came out on the good end," said Valley City State University men's basketball coach Ryan Montgomery. "The Jimmies are a good basketball team. We gameplanned all week and still they shot 52 percent from the field.

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"But I'm just proud of my guys. That's all I can say."

Jamestown led by as many as 12 in the second half after edging the Vikings 46-44 at halftime. But a big second half turned in by Valley City State's Austin Dunbar, combined with foul trouble on the Jimmies' 6-foot-6 senior post Leighton Sampson, spelled trouble for the home team.

Dunbar, a 6-5 senior forward, broke loose for 24 of his 29 points after the half, including sinking 8 of 11 at the free-throw line. Dunbar's performance was complemented by three 3-pointers and 29 points tossed in by honorable mention All-American senior forward Jayden Ferguson in the contest.

"We couldn't guard Austin Dunbar tonight," University of Jamestown men's basketball coach Danny Neville said. "Ferguson is Ferguson, but we just didn't have anyone step up and guard Dunbar."

Sampson, who scored 19 points in the game, missed a majority of the second half after picking up his fourth foul less than two minutes in after the break. He later fouled out on a charging violation with 2 minutes, 56 seconds left to play, proving to be paramount as the Jimmies were clinging to an 82-81 advantage.

Jimmie junior guard Kevin Oberweiser did all he could to avoid the upset loss. He scored a career-high 36 points on 12 of 14 from the field, 3 of 4 from downtown and 9 of 10 at the line, including the Jimmies' final bucket on a drive to the hole with 20 seconds left.

But too much time remained for Galloway and the Vikings. Valley City State improved to 13-15 and plays Friday at Waldorf University.

"It just comes down to that last play," Neville said. "Just box out, get that rebound and the game's over."

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Saturday's contest wasn't the outcome Jamestown was looking for after falling 76-73 the previous night to Bellevue University. The Jimmies (19-9, 8-7 NSAA) play at Presentation College on Saturday with the North Star Athletic Association conference tournament opening round on deck.

"We just gotta be tougher," Neville said. "Can't lose two straight at home."

Valley City State 92, (23) Jamestown 91

Valley City 44 48 -- 92

Jamestown 46 45 -- 91

Valley City-Jayden Ferguson 29, Austin Dunbar 29, Rashad Satahoo 10, Justyn Galloway 9, Jake Skelly 7, Alex Quist 3, Hunter McCalla 3, Jauvon Edison 2. Totals: 34-58 FG, 16-20 FT, 8-21 3-pointers (Ferguson 3, Galloway, Satahoo, Quist, Skelly), 28 Rebounds (Dunbar 9), 22 Fouls (Quist), 5 Assists, 11 Turnovers, 2 Blocks, 0 Steals.

Jamestown-Kevin Oberweiser 36, Leighton Sampson 19, Jon Purintun 14, Sam Johnson 13, Jake Reuther 3, Christian Kvilvang 3, Jack Talley 3. Totals: 30-57 FG, 23-28 FT, 8-16 3-pointers (Oberweiser 3, Johnson 2, Reuther, Kvilvang, Talley), 28 Rebounds (Johnson 7), 23 Fouls (Sampson), 5 Assists (Purintun 2), 13 Turnovers, 2 Blocks, 2 Steals.

Records: Jamestown 19-9, 8-7 NSAA. Valley City 13-15, 6-9.

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University of Jamestown's Leighton Sampson feels the heat under the basket from Valley City State's Jouvon Edison Saturday at Harold Newman Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun
University of Jamestown's Leighton Sampson feels the heat under the basket from Valley City State's Jouvon Edison Saturday at Harold Newman Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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