Defense leads Majettes to second straight win

Dickinson turned in its sloppiest outing of the year Saturday night against Minot High.

Majettes coach Todd Magnuson prefers to classify his team’s 48-30 win at Magic City Campus as its best defensive statement through five games.

With the help of some foolish Midget errors, Minot’s combination of 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones and some man-to-man defense produced the following from Dickinson: 19 turnovers, 28-percent shooting and 39 total field-goal attempts, 16 less than Minot.

“When you can hold a team to 30 points, that’s pretty good,” Magnuson said. “They didn’t shoot the ball real well neither, but I attribute that to our defense. I thought we played really good defense.”

The Majettes (3-2 overall, 2-2 West Region) struggled from the field as well (18-55 for 32.7 percent), but opened hot to build an early lead.

Senior guard Jayden Moum and sophomore Cassie Askvig each posted 11 points in the first half to provide the spark. Askvig had a game-high 15 points and six boards and Moum finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Not one Minot player finished above 50 percent from the field, something Magnuson attributed to the fatigue from playing three games in five days.

“The kids are tired,” Magnuson said. “They didn’t have a lot of legs tonight, you could see that in their shots. We took great shots tonight, I thought our shot selection was good. It’s just that our shots are short. That’s something we have to adjust to when we have a lot of games in a week.”

Minot finished the first half on a 15-4 run to push its advantage to 16 points. Dickinson ran off the first eight points of the second frame, cutting its deficit to single digits.

But Minot held the Midgets (1-2, 0-2) to six points over the final 15 minutes. Dickinson coach Dan Pender attributed that lack of scoring to the Majettes’ zone defense, anchored by their 6-foot-2 sophomore’s five blocks.

“Askvig, she does a nice job in the paint when they’re in a zone,” he said. “She covers a lot of ground, she can recover and help people.”

Moum stymied Dickinson’s run out of halftime with her second trey of the night, and the Midgets never closed within 10 points again.

Minot’s cold shooting kept it from pushing its lead past 18 points. The Majettes launched 27 treys, making only four. Magnuson told his team to keep shooting when open.

“All my girls on my team have the green light,” he said. “I want them to shoot. I want them to feel comfortable shooting. I’m not going to chew them out for shooting, I’ll chew them out for not shooting.”

Juniors Brooke Suko and McKale Duttenhefer each had one 3-pointer, leading to eight- and five-point performances, respectively.

Senior Sydney Gangl paced Dickinson with eight points.

After noting his team’s staunch defensive outing, Magnuson admitted it was a bit sloppy at times. But it’s Minot’s second straight win and it has the Majettes above .500 for the first time in four games.

“Not a pretty game tonight, but the kids adapted and we got enough to get the win tonight so I’m real happy,” Magnuson said.

Ryan Holmgren covers Minot High sports. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.