Majettes win ugly

A defensive purist had enough reason to grin during Minot’s 47-39 win over Mandan on Tuesday night.

Anyone else who witnessed the combined 46 turnovers and lack of flow in the West Region contest at Magic City Campus likely grimaced.

The Majettes (8-7, 8-5) did enough offensively, however, to win their sixth game in seven tries and finish with a regular-season sweep of the Braves.

Freshman wing Cassie Askvig had a team-high 16 points and seven rebounds and sophomore Sierra Duttenhefer (11 points) found her touch early to help boost Minot.

“It was not a pretty game,” Minot coach Todd Magnuson said. “We had way too many turnovers. Defensively I thought both teams got after it tonight.”

Mandan (7-9, 6-7) was especially hindered by its inability to score. The Braves were a shoddy 15 of 52 from the field and 6 of 14 from the free-throw line.

Poor shooting has been Mandan’s Achilles’ heel per its coach, Len Stanley.

“I can live with how we guarded tonight,” Stanley said. “You’re just not going to win games in this league scoring 39 points. Give Minot credit, they knocked down shots when they needed to.”

The way Minot started the game, though, it looked as if points were going to come in bunches.

Minot jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the opening minutes, but Mandan’s physicality put a halt to the initial spurt. Mandan went on a short scoring surge of its own to knot the game at 15-15.

Duttenhefer connected on the first of her three 3-pointers in the first half to break the short-lived tie and Minot led the rest of the way.

The low-scoring affair saw the Majettes take a 23-19 lead at intermission that would only grow.

Jayden Moum’s 3 gave Minot its biggest cushion -a 39-27 lead halfway through the second half – and the Majettes looked to pull away.

Mandan had other plans.

Braves post Makenzie Schmidt (10 points) did most of her damage down the stretch and cut Minot’s lead to 42-36 with just three minutes left. The visitors couldn’t get any closer.

“(Mandan) made a little run, but we kept our composure,” Magnuson said. “The kids played through the adversity and physicality of the game.”

Andie Hankla also had seven rebounds for Minot, which travels to Bismarck St. Mary’s on Thursday.