Majettes force 27 turnovers, pummel St. Mary’s 79-40

There’s something about St. Mary’s.

When the Saints travel to Magic City Campus, Minot High shoots the lights out.

Two days after the Minot boys basketball team torched the nets in an upset of No. 2 St. Mary’s, the Majettes drained 12 of 24 shots from beyond the arc and clobbered the Saints 79-40.

Minot junior McKale Duttenhefer poured in a game-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting – including 4-of-5 from distance – in her first home game since missing two weeks with a sprained anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. The 5-foot-8 wing missed her first two shots before sinking three 3-pointers in the first half.

“She’s got the green light to shoot the ball every time she’s got a chance,” Minot coach Todd Magnuson said. “She made that third one and I knew she was gonna be OK.”

Sophomore forward Cassie Askvig chipped in 15 points and five boards and junior point guard Sophie Bengson had 11 points.

With the score knotted at 12 after seven minutes, the Majettes (7-5 overall, 5-4 West Region) ratcheted up their defensive effort. They switched from man-to-man to a full-court trapping zone and it paid dividends.

Minot finished the first half on a 28-3 run, holding St. Mary’s (2-9, 2-7) to one field goal over the last 11 minutes before halftime (and none in the last 7:30). The Majettes forced 27 turnovers and outscored the Saints 25-6 in points off turnovers. Minot had 12 steals, with five different Majettes recording two or more. As a result, Minot put up 19 more shots than St. Mary’s – a 66-45 advantage.

“Our anticipation was really good tonight,” said Benson, who had two steals that yielded fast-break layups. “We really just read each other. We knew when to go and when to stay back. We really just kind of listened to our basketball instincts.”

Out of the break, Askvig converted a layup to cap the 30-3 run that spanned more than 11 minutes. Even with reserves in for much of the second half, Minot pushed its lead to 41 in the final minute before settling for a 39-point win. Junior Brooke Suko and Teasha Hughes had eight and four points off the bench, respectively. The Majettes held a 17-7 advantage in bench points.

“I just thought all the girls that came off the bench for us just gave us some good minutes, some really quality minutes,” Magnuson said.

Senior forward Ashley Wanner was the lone Saint in double figures with 12 points.

Minot junior Sierra Duttenhefer had nine points and a game-high six rebounds and senior guard Jayden Moum rounded out the starting lineup with seven points.

“It felt good to actually keep a lead rather than getting up by 20 and losing,” McKale Duttenhefer said.

Duttenhefer hinted to the Majettes early-season road loss at Turtle Mountain, which they host at 7:30 tonight. In that game, Asvkig and Sierra Duttenhefer fouled out midway through the second half as Turtle Mountain erased a 21-point deficit.

“That is probably the biggest game we’re gonna play here in the next couple weeks,” Magnuson said. “The girls are fired up for tomorrow night. They know they can beat (Turtle Mountain). They just gotta stay together and work together as a team.”

Ryan Holmgren covers Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.