Youth is served: Underclassmen Askvig, Bengson combine for 35 points in Minot win

Cassie Askvig has been making the most of her minutes.

For a freshman that wasn’t even slated to hold down a full-time varsity slot, the versatile 6-footer is blooming before her coach’s eyes.

Askvig’s career-high 17 points helped the Majettes down Bismarck St. Mary’s 56-46 on Thursday night at Magic City Campus, garnering their first home win of the season.

When she wasn’t using her length, Askvig – the tallest player on the floor -was also showing her touch from just inside the 3-point line.

“I didn’t really expect (the playing time) at the beginning of the season,” said Askvig, who’s designated as a junior varsity player on her team’s roster. “But the girls have really supported me and so have my coaches.”

Minot (5-6, 5-4) has won three of its last four West Region games -including a win over then-No. 5 Jamestown – and holds the fourth spot in the top-heavy league.

It took an entire half for the Majettes to hit their stride offensively, holding just a 21-18 lead over the Saints (2-8, 2-6) at halftime.

But the way sophomore Sophie Bengson came out in the second half, the Majettes were able to create a nice gap between the region’s second-to-last place team.

Bengson, who had a game-high 18 points, hit three of four 3s in the first five of minutes of the second half and spearheaded a 27-8 run.

“Big shots tonight by (Askvig) and (Bengson),” Minot coach Todd Magnuson said. “We didn’t really get off to a good start, but we were able to hit some shots. “

Minot hit five of its seven 3-pointers in the second half, and Sierra Duttenhefer’s trey gave the Majettes their biggest lead of the game at 48-28.

But Minot, which forced St. Mary’s into 20 turnovers, let the Saints get within striking distance down the stretch.

Sydney Miller’s 3-pointer with just under two minutes left cut Minot’s once-sizable lead to eight, but a pair of baskets by Askvig staved the comeback attempt.

“At times I thought we played good defense, Magnuson said. “Other times I thought we played lackadaisical. We’re going to have to improve on that.”

Loni Bryantt had six steals for Minot, which entertains Turtle Mountain tonight at 7:30 p.m.