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Mandan sinks 11 3-pointers in win over Minot
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Mandan sinks 11 3-pointers in win over Minot

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Mandan was on the mark, again, Monday night.

The Braves sank 11 3-pointers, spread across six different players, en route to a 69-57 West Region victory over Minot.

Mandan won its third game in a row, while Minot had its two-game winning streak clipped.

"It's always tough to come into Mandan and win, but with the way they're shooting the 3, that makes it really tough," Minot coach Jason Schwarz said.

The Braves have been consistent offensively in their 5-2 start, averaging nearly 65 points per game.

"We lost some big scorers from last year and we needed some girls to step up and so far our kids have done a really nice job," Mandan coach Abby Thomas said. "I think we're doing a good job of moving the ball. We're playing unselfishly and that's leading to us getting some good shots."

Six girls scored for Mandan. All of them had at least eight points.

"It's good to have that balance to where we're not counting on one or two girls every game," Thomas said. "We have a number of girls that can make shots and make plays for their teammates to get good shots."

Senior Lakyn Darras, a University of Mary recruit, led the Braves' balanced effort with 16 points. Darras had six points in a row in a decisive second-half run which gave Mandan the first double-digit lead (54-44) of the game.

"The big thing for us right now is defensively we have some things to clean up," Thomas said. "It's not effort-related things. The girls are playing hard, we just need to be a little more focused on some of the details and assignments throughout the course of the game."

Minot, which has played just once at home in its first seven games, has made big strides in the first year under Schwarz.

"Oh, they're better, no question," Thomas said of the Majettes. "Any win in the WDA this year is a good win, honestly. There are just a lot of quality teams like Minot out there. It's a challenge every game."

Mandan sank seven first-half triples, the last of which came off the hand of Maria Moore, to give the home team a 37-33 lead after a high-scoring first half. Moore (10), Sydney Gustavsson (13), Amaya Ramsey (11) and Aleah Clarke (11) were all in double figures for Mandan.

Minot also was stroking it over the opening 18.

Eighth-grader Avery Lunde knocked down three from deep, helping the Majettes grab a 24-18 lead with 7 minutes left in the opening half.

The Majettes start five seniors, but also got a big boost from Lunde, who scored a team-best 15 points.

"We're coming along, we're getting better, but these girls have been through some tough times," Schwarz said. "They know how to lose, now it's learning how to win. We have a great group of seniors. They play really hard. But it's a process of putting yourself in position to win, especially against good teams, then making those key plays in the important moments.

"You just have to go through it. The more we put ourselves in those positions, the more we'll learn and the more comfortable we'll be."

Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or david.selvig@bismarcktribune.com

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