DICKINSON - In an extremely close West Region girls basketball game that seemed destined to come down to the fortuitous bounce of the ball, Minot High senior Loni Bryantt cashed in on a golden opportunity.
With 31 seconds left, a scrum in the paint led to the ball rolling out to Bryantt on the left wing.
She picked up the loose-ball rebound and buried the wide-open 3-pointer to break a tie and the Majettes held on for a 58-54 victory over Dickinson High on Saturday afternoon.
"I knew what had to be done, didn't think, shot the ball and it went in," said Bryantt, who led Minot to its first win of the season with a team-high 18 points.
Bryantt's shot gave the Majettes a 57-54 advantage. Dickinson had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but never got the opportunity after Sydney Gangl was whistled for a foul as the Midgets tried to run an inbounds play beneath their basket with 7.4 seconds remaining.
It was the 31st and final turnover of the game for Dickinson, which had so many things go right except for its miscues handling the basketball.
"I think we played great, minus all the turnovers," Midgets senior Ali Moody said. "We had 31 turnovers. Coach said if we get down to 20, that's 11 more shots and we're bound to make one of those and it's a tie game."
Moody had 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals to lead the Midgets. She was 10 of 13 from the free-throw line.
Moody and senior Taylor Cooper helped the Midgets (2-2, 0-2 West) get going early. They led 21-11 with 8:50 left in the first half.
Minot (1-3, 1-3 West) gradually cut into the lead and tied the game on a pair of free throws by junior Jerica Hanson with 20 seconds left.
Lillie Meduna's jumper from the left elbow as time expired in the first half gave Dickinson a 29-27 halftime lead.
Cooper finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Gangl had 12 points, all on 3-pointers.
The Midgets outrebounded Minot 56-30 and shot 20 of 56 (36 percent) from the field compared to the Majettes' 19 of 63 (30 percent) shooting performance.
"Offensively, when we ran what we wanted to run, we got what we wanted," Dickinson head coach Dan Pender said. "But we wouldn't get it to the short corner all the time when we wanted it. The girls played hard, it was just a tough one to take here."
Minot had the upper hand in the second half, never leading by more than four points but going ahead for good on Andie Hankla's layup two minutes into the half.
"We've been pretty patient with the girls this year," Minot head coach Todd Magnuson said. "We're still trying to find our niche. I'm trying to find the right rotation and I think I'm getting there. I'm getting pretty close."