Jamestown edges Minot in final minute

JAMESTOWN – Erin Mullowney wasn’t nervous when she launched a floater from the left side with 25 seconds remaining on Thursday night.

The Jamestown senior guard wasn’t worried when McKayla Orr stepped to the line with only 6 seconds to go.

But Minot’s Sierra Duttenhefer’s shot from the right wing at the buzzer?

“It was the longest two seconds of my life,” Mullowney said.

Mullowney and Orr converted late opportunities, and Duttenhefer’s shot bounced off the front of the rim as the Blue Jays stole a 60-57 win at the JHS gym.

“It was a heck of a bounce-back for us,” said Jamestown coach Andy Skunberg, whose team lost to Bismarck St. Mary’s on Tuesday night. “That was a pretty deflating loss. We needed something like this.”

Minot (6-5 overall, 4-4 West Region) started the game with an 18-0 run and led until the 10:35 mark of the second half. The Majettes held a seemingly comfortable 37-24 advantage at halftime, helped out by sophomore Cassie Askvig, who had 18 of her game-high 27 points in the opening stanza.

“We came out ready to play,” said Minot assistant coach Joel Lawson, filling in for coach Todd Magnuson, who didn’t travel because of health issues. “We jumped out to that 18-0 run. Then we got tired and you could tell. Our shots in the second half were all a little short.”

Minot’s last point of the game came with 1:32 remaining on a Jayden Moum free throw that gave the Majettes a slim 57-56 advantage. They were held without a field goal over the final 2:05.

After a timeout, Jamestown (5-5, 4-3) set up a play designed to get Mullowney a 3-pointer in the corner, as she had already hit three. Minot shut that down, and Mullowney drove from the left side, launching a floater from 6 feet out that bounced off the glass and dropped through.

“It was crunch time,” said Mullowney, who had all 11 of her points in the second half. “It wasn’t set up that way, but I came off of it and went for it. The team just pulled together at the end.”

Askvig tried a 3 on the ensuing possession with about 10 seconds remaining, and Duttenhefer came out with the rebound. However, Orr stripped her of the ball and was then fouled. She made both free throws, giving her a team-high 22 points including four 3-pointers for the Jays, who go to Mandan on Thursday.

“We had a lot of people finally hitting shots,” Skunberg said. “We knew we had to weather the storm, and we had a great second half.”

A monster second half from standout center Paige Peterson helped the Blue Jays rally. She had 11 of her 16 points and 13 of her 16 rebounds after halftime.

“I think what really hurt us tonight is we did not keep Peterson off the glass,” Lawson said. “She had so many offensive putbacks and that hurt us bad. She just outworked us on the glass.”