Minot High desperately needed to counter Jamestown's senior center, Paige Peterson. At 6-foot, Peterson imposed her post presence with five quick points from the block in the opening three minutes Thursday night.
The Majettes found an answer in the youngest player on their roster: Cassie Askvig.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore hit her first four shots en route to a 26-point performance that led Minot to a 67-60 West Region win at Magic City Campus.
Minot High sophomore Cassie Askvig
attempts a layup in the first half against Jamestown on Thursday at Magic City
Campus. She scored a game-high 26 in the Majettes’ 67-60 win.
"I saw the Cassie Askvig I've been waiting for," Minot coach Todd Magnuson said. "She's one of these kids that's multitalented. She can step outside and hit the 3, she can post up and score inside, she can find the open girl. She's just a huge asset for our team."
Askvig drained a pair of treys - the second coming on a four-point play - and a layup during a personal 9-0 spurt early in the first half that gave Minot a lead it held through halftime. She had 15 at the break, while Peterson paced Jamestown with 10.
"She played against one of the best post players in the state tonight, I thought," Magnuson said. "She handled herself well - very, very well."
Askvig said her two first-half 3-pointers freed up space in the paint for her to work around Peterson's long wingspan.
"It made (Peterson) a little bit nervous when I was outside and it allowed me to get down low and attack," she said. "My teammates noticed that and I did, too."
The Blue Jays (1-2 overall, 1-1 region) scored the first seven points after the intermission to claim a 38-35 lead. Senior guard McKayla Orr, who was saddled to the bench with foul trouble in the first half, dropped in a layup that gave Jamestown its largest lead at 46-40.
"We were a little bit nervous," Askvig said of the six-point deficit. "We just knew we had to keep our heads up and keep playing because it wasn't over. There was a lot of game left."
The Majettes (2-2, 1-2) went on a 15-4 run to gain the lead for good. Junior guard Brooke Suko sank her second and third 3-pointers and Askvig added a triple and four free throws as tides changed one last time.
Jamestown closed to 57-56, but Minot senior Jayden Moum drilled a trifecta and two freebies with 2 minutes, 40 seconds to play. Askvig swatted two shots in the final three minutes to keep the Blue Jays at bay.
"She hit some big shots, had some huge blocks for us at the end and some big rebounds," Magnuson said. "She's just a catalyst for our team."
Minot shot just 31 percent (17-54) from the field, but its aggressive 2-3 zone forced 20 Jamestown turnovers. The Majettes had nine more field goal attempts than the visitors and lived by the 3-pointer, making 11 of 26 (42 percent).
Suko chipped in 11 points off the bench, but Askvig did the heavy lifting.
The sophomore stud was 8 of 14 from the field and converted all seven foul shots. She had six rebounds and three assists.
"We flow around Cassie," Magnuson said. "I think as Cassie goes, our team's gonna go."
Peterson and Orr paced Jamestown with 16 points. Orr tallied 14 after halftime.
The Majettes host Dickinson at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Ryan Holmgren covers Minot High athletics. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.