Minot upsets Jamestown behind second-half surge

JAMESTOWN – Loni Bryantt was in the zone, and the Jamestown girls basketball team had a hard time stopping her late in Saturday’s game.

Instead of driving to the basket, Bryantt stepped back to drain a 3-pointer and banked in another one off the glass as the 5-foot-5 guard scored 11 straight points.

The run helped Minot overcome a 16-point deficit, eventually escaping Jamestown with a 64-60 West Region victory at the JHS gym.

“I was definitely feeling it tonight,” Bryantt said. “I just tried to keep my head and not think about it much and do what I had to do.”

Jamestown coach Andy Skunberg credited Bryant, who led all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-13 from the field. Sierra Duttenhefer added 15, and Cassie Askvig had 12.

“(Bryantt) even banked one in. What do you do about that?” Skunberg said. “She gets on a roll, nothing you can really do about it.

“She had a pretty good day; that’s not what killed us. We killed ourselves.”

Minot forced 20 Jamestown turnovers, and a 4-of-14 effort from the free-throw line didn’t help the Blue Jays, either. Minot also overcame a nearly 50-percent shooting effort by Jamestown.

“This is huge; Jamestown is a good team,” Bryantt said. “All the teams in the WDA are tough. Everyone is gonna be a blood bath. They definitely made us work today. It feels even better that we were the underdogs and we came out with a win today.”

Minot guard Sophie Bengson hit two free throws with 16 seconds remaining in the game to give her team a 63-59 lead. Jamestown’s Kyra Dewald answered with one free throw, but Jaden Moum made the back end of a pair of free-throw attempts with 8 seconds left to close it out.

It wasn’t looking good for the Majettes early in the second half.

Dewald, who finished with 15, had a pair of treys and Paige Peterson closed out a 14-0 run with a pair of short jumpers with 15:26 remaining in the game. Peterson had 17 points and eight rebounds.

However, Bryantt came alive, rallying the Majettes (4-4 West Region, 4-6 overall) to a split in the season series with Jamestown (4-2, 6-3).

“It’s definitely important to stay calm,” Bryantt said. “We’ve been known to come back. I think my girls showed a lot of heart today.”