MHS handles Williston
Jayden Ferguson did about everything he could to impose his will on Minot.
But while Williston’s 6-foot-5 stalwart scored on just about every second-half possession, the Magicians already had their way with the Coyotes in a 76-48 rout on Tuesday night at Magic City Campus.
Ferguson, who scored 20 of his game-high 26 points in second stanza, would have needed to double the total to get his team out of the crevice Minot’s balanced club created on Senior Night.
The fourth-ranked Magicians did their damage by committee as Brandon Van Dusen (13 points), Kyle Gerding (12), Caleb Albertson (11) and Brian Bloms (10) paced a team that had nine players reach the scoring column.
Williston -handled 74-38 by the Magi in January – hung around most of the first half, but a 14-2 run sparked by Bloms gave Minot a comfortable 24-point lead and the Magicians never looked back.
“In the second half I thought we just plugged along,” Minot coach Dean Winczewski said. “It’s just one of those games we had to grind out.”
Gerding, who also brought down 11 rebounds and tallied six assists, wasn’t especially happy with the start that saw the two teams locked up at 8-8 five minutes into the contest.
“We came out sluggish,” said Gerding, one of seven Minot seniors who played their last game at MCC. “With senior night we let our emotions get the best of us.”
Minot (15-4, 13-3) had a 37-23 halftime lead, but Ferguson went to work immediately and chipped away at the deficit.
The Coyotes (5-14, 4-12) made it a ten-point game after Ferguson maneuvered his way inside and softly used the glass with back-to-back baskets, but Minot’s biggest run of the night ensued. Williston was never able to get within single digits.
“(Ferguson) created a lot of his own shots,” Williston coach Mark Slotsvke said. “He’s a quality player. He’s our strength, but you need more than one guy to be able to compete.”
Ferguson also brought down 11 rebounds and was 8 of 9 from the line.
“He’s tough to handle,” Winczewski said. “He’s one of the better players in the region.”
Minot will be the No. 3 seed in next week’s West Region tournament at the Bismarck Civic Center, and will open against sixth-seeded Dickinson on Thursday night.
Williston, the tournament’s No. 7 seed, takes on second-seeded St. Mary’s.