Minot girls continue roll
Two months ago Minot guard Sierra Duttenhefer and her coach, Todd Magnuson, found themselves in a bit of wonder.
Duttenhefer, who recently returned from an ACL injury, often pondered when she’d come full circle.
Magnuson, after losing the bulk of his scoring and experience to graduation, questioned when his group of youngsters would hit their stride.
Those queries were put to bed after the Majettes’ 65-51 win over Turtle Mountain on Friday night at Magic City Campus.
Duttenhefer had a team-high 14 points to help Minot (6-6, 6-4) win its fourth game in five tries, moving the Majettes to third-place in the West Region standings.
“We’re clicking,” said Duttenhefer, a sophomore guard. “We’re playing more as a team right now, we’re finding open people – I couldn’t ask for more from this team.”
All seven players in Minot’s rotation reached the scoring column, with Jayden Moum (12 points) and Sophie Bengson (11 points) also reaching double figures.
Minot, which fell 75-57 to Turtle Mountain in December, used a 14-2 to start the second half and the Bravettes could never recover.
The Majettes hit six of their seven 3-pointers in the first half to counter Turtle Mountain’s size and took a 29-27 lead at intermission.
With Whitney Wallette -Turtle Mountain’s high-scoring post – on the floor, Minot doubled down on the block to contest her.
Wallette was still able to lead her team with a hard-earned 14 points, but Minot was able to slow the rest of the Bravettes down.
Wallette was, however, able to go on a personal 6-0 run late in the second half to cut Minot’s lead to six points. It was as close as the visitors would get.
“We knew they’d be a tough matchup inside,” Magnuson said. “But these girls deserve a lot of credit. They’ve bought into what they’re doing. It was a good win tonight.”
Minot’s press gave Turtle Mountain fits in the second half, forcing the Bravettes into 10 giveaways in the period.
Late turnovers have been a death knell for Turtle Mountain.
“We play good for most of the game and then we start throwing the ball away,” Turtle Mountain coach G.T. Monette said. “That’s been happening to us the last seven games. Minot has good guards, too, so its hard to press them and try to (make a comeback).”
After starting the season 1-4, the Majettes find themselves behind top-ranked Bismarck Century and No. 4 Bismarck High in region play.
“We want that No. 3 spot (in West Region),” Magnuson said. “A lot of teams will be competing for it. We just need to keep it going.”
Minot entertains Bismarck High on Thursday night at 7 p.m.