A big finish carried Minot to a big road victory.
Down by nine points with nine minutes remaining, the Magicians finished the game with a flourish, storming back to defeat the West Region-leading Demons 64-61 on Tuesday night at the Karlgaard gymnasium.
Minot won its second straight game and handed No. 3-ranked Bismarck its second straight setback, closing the game on a 19-7 burst that turned a 54-45 BHS advantage into a three-point road win.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Minot coach Dean Winczewski said. “They’re a really good basketball team – well-coached and athletic – and to come down here and steal one, it’s a huge thing.”
Peyton Lamoureux made the game’s two biggest plays for Minot, hitting a 3-pointer to finish a 13-3 run and give the Magicians a 58-57 lead with 4:04 remaining, and three minutes later converting a BHS turnover into a layup for a 62-61 lead – the eventual game-winning basket – with 1:07 left.
“It was actually Deven (Forbes) jumping the ball screen and getting a tip and Peyton coming up with it – and then finishing,” Winczewski said. “That’s hard – you’ve got a guy coming at you and he made a huge, huge play to get the tip away and to go from there.
“A lot of times, we can draw stuff up and everybody thinks the coaches have so much to do with it, but it just comes down to kids making plays, and we had enough tonight.”
After Lamoureux gave Minot the lead, Bismarck turned the ball over on its ensuing possession, and Jaxon Gunville hit a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to make it a three-point lead at 64-61.
Ian Schafer’s 3-pointer to tie it was off and Minot came away with the rebound. After Chandler Albertson missed the front end of a bonus with 10.1 seconds remaining, the Demons corralled the rebound and called a timeout with 7.9 seconds left, setting up one more chance to send the game to overtime.
Tanner Davis’ 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out, and Minot held on for the win.
Lamoureux finished with 16 points to lead four players in double figures for Minot (13-4, 10-4 West Region). Chandler Albertson added 15, Alex Schimke 12 and Gunville 10.
The finish was far from perfect, but Winczewski will take the result.
“We left a bunch out there,” he said. “We had open shots and we had opportunities. But we rebounded and we defended the second half and we got away with it. That’s all you can ask when you go on the road is to find a way to get one.”
Rebounding and defense were the big difference-makers, the Minot coach said.
“We missed shots and we had opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them, we turned it over,” he said. “But we were able to not give them second opportunities. They rebound so well, their kids are so athletic. When you keep them off the glass and limit their second chances, they’re not near as efficient. They’re still very talented, still very good but they’re such a good offensive rebounding team that when they get second chances they’re hard to beat.
“You have to defend to win in this league, and in the second half we did.”
Joe Jahner led four Demons in double figures with 17. Fifteen of those points came in the first half, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the corner that gave BHS a nine-point lead at the intermission (38-29).
Matt Trolliey added 12, including three first-half 3-pointers. Ian Schafer finished with 11 and Davis 10 for BHS (13-5, 12-3 West Region).
BHS 51, Minot 39
Defense helped the Demon girls avenge a 67-62 overtime loss earlier this season in Minot.
Bismarck clamped down on the Majettes, using a 16-3 first-half run to build a double-digit lead, and fending off several rallies to pick up a big West Region victory.
“It was very similar (to the first game),” BHS coach Bill Shetler said. “We’d get up and then they’d claw back into it, we’d get up and they’d claw back into it. Tonight, defensively we just made a few more plays and held them to 39 instead of (67). That was probably the difference, the ability to get a few stops at the end.”
The Demons didn’t make any big schematic adjustments.
“We just executed better,” Shetler said. “We wanted to switch a lot of those ball screens up there and we just didn’t do it. Tonight we did a little better job.”
A 16-3 first-half run turned a one-point BHS edge into a 27-15 margin.
The Majettes finished the first half on an 8-0 burst to pull within four (27-23) at the break, and Minot drew within three (32-29) early in the second half.
But a 9-0 run gave Bismarck back a double-digit lead at 41-29, and the Demons finished off the victory.
Cadee Ryckman led the Demons (10-8, 8-7 West Region) with 18 points.
“She’s got to score for us and she has to kind of take that on, and other teams know that,” Shetler said. “It’s asking a lot of a sophomore who’s never really played varsity until now. She played a heck of a game, made some big shots for us.”
Megan Henderson and Mady Mosolf each added 11 and Hannah Golus nine for the Demons.
Alli McCoy and Brenna Tschetter paced the Majettes (6-10, 6-9 West Region) with 11 points apiece.