JAMESTOWN -- Kaitlyn Wanner says St. Mary’s girls basketball plans on making a little noise this season.
So far, the Saints are being heard loud and clear.
Wanner posted a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds Thursday at Jamestown’s Jerry Meyer Arena, helping St. Mary’s improve to 3-0 with a 54-41 victory over the Blue Jays. The Saints haven’t appeared at the state Class A basketball tournament since 1998.
“We’ve just come out with a drive,” Wanner said. “We want to make a statement in the WDA and that’s what we are trying to do.”
Wanner’s nine points and seven boards in the first half pinned the visiting Saints to a 25-15 lead at the break. Jamestown made just five field goals in the first half and were forced into 13 turnovers.
The turnover trend continued for Jamestown to start the second half. The Blue Jays handed the ball over to St. Mary’s six times in its first seven possessions, helping the visitors eventually barrel ahead by as many as 16 points (54-38).
“I was a little disappointed with how we started,” Jamestown coach Andy Skunberg said. “A lot of standing around and just kinda going through motions. It’s tough with a good team we were facing here, and we needed to come out with a little more fire.”
Jamestown junior Courtney Peterson did all she could to help keep the Blue Jays afloat. Peterson connected for four 3-pointers and scored 14 of her game-high 19 points in the second half.
But Jamestown never got to within less than seven points (37-30) down the stretch.
“We knew they were a good team,” Wanner said. “We just tried to pressure the ball and force as much as we could.”
Taylor Gerving also hit double figures in scoring for the Saints with 11. The Blue Jays dropped to 1-2 and were back on the court two days after a Cadee Ryckman 3-point buzzer-beater lifted Bismarck High to a 66-63 victory over Jamestown.
“We had our opportunities but we just couldn’t sustain that long enough,” Skunberg said. “We’ve got to be after it the whole game against these good teams.”
Jacoby Lloyd scored his first career win as a head basketball coach Thursday night at Jerry Meyer Arena.
Jamestown received a pair of double-doubles en route to topping visiting St. Mary’s 79-70. Both teams were looking for win No. 1 on the season.
“It feels great, but it feels even better for the kids,” said Lloyd, whose Blue Jays improved to 1-2 after finishing last season with two wins under former coach Luke Anderson. “They had a long season last year and to get a win early in the season will build their confidence going forward.”
Jamestown’s sophomore forward Boden Skunberg and junior center Mason Walters were dripping with confidence against the Saints. Skunberg dropped in a team-high 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Walters scored 22 and snatched 14 off the glass.
Skunberg drained a 3-pointer and scored 16 in the second half to help the Blue Jays lead by as many as 19 points (73-54). Jamestown led 43-34 at the half with the help of three Dawson Douty 3-pointers to close the opening 18 minutes.
“My teammates got me going, I guess,” Skunberg said. “We moved the ball really well, which is something we didn’t do the first two games. We played as a team; good passing. It should be a good year.”
The Saints’ Cole Gendreau scored four treys and posted a game-high 30 points. A 9-0 run by St. Mary’s with less than 4 minutes to play helped cut Jamestown’s advantage back down to single digits, but the Blue Jays were just too tough after dropping games at Fargo Davies and at Bismarck High to start the season.
“It was nice to see Mason continue what he was doing against Bismarck High, and our guys recognizing it and getting it to him,” Lloyd said. “Boden, playing as hard as he was offensively and defensively, was fun to see.
“We gotta keep on working defensively to get more stops, but St. Mary’s is extremely talented from a penetration standpoint,” he continued. “This is the second-most points we’ve given up this year and I think we can do better.”