Home opener rout

Magi basketball rolls past St. Mary’s 88-45

Alex Eisen/MDN Minot senior Chandler Albertson (1) poises himself after collecting a rebound Tuesday in the Magi's home opener against Bismarck St. Mary's.

From the opening tip, the Minot High School boys basketball team was in the driver’s seat with a sea of maroon and gold behind them.

The three-time defending state champion Magicians (2-0, 1-0 WDA) cruised to an 88-45 victory over Bismarck St. Mary’s (0-2, 0-1 WDA) in their home opener Tuesday night at Minot High School.

Despite the final score, Minot High coach Dean Winczewski didn’t exactly like everything that he saw.

“I thought we did some pretty good things for the most part,” he said. “Defensively, I was happy. I thought our effort was tremendous. I think we missed assignments early and were sloppy getting to help. But, it got better as the game went on… Offensively, we were sloppy too. We got open shots and made some shots, but in large part we were really careless with our passing and tried to do too much at times.”

The Magi were only credited with four turnovers in the contest and made up for missing shots by pounding the glass with a 49-20 advantage (16 offensive rebounds).

Alex Eisen/MDN Minot High sophomore Devin Mikell (left) gets tangled up with a couple of Bismarck St. Mary's players while driving to the basket Tuesday in Minot's home opener.

Minot shot 54.2 percent from the field and went 13-for-25 behind the arc. Five players finished in double figures.

“We were unselfish,” Winczewski said about the positives. “We guarded, we rebounded and we found people to get open shots. So, there were a lot of good things. It just has to get cleaned up and that’s a part of growing, playing a lot of younger kids and having guys that are playing in different roles.

“The tough part is that the guys that were doing it (making mistakes) were guys that have experience. We have to be able to lean on those guys to make good decisions all the time.”

Out of the gate, it was clear Bismarck St. Mary’s didn’t have the new scouting report on 6-foot-3 forward Lofton Klabunde. The senior hit a pair of 3-pointers to spur an 11-2 opening run for the Magi.

“Just practice,” Klabunde said, who finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. “Coach tells me if I’m open, shoot it. Trust yourself and don’t hesitate.”

Minot kept rolling along with a block and put back at the other end of the court by sophomore Devin Mikell to make it 21-6, and then junior Alex Schimke drained his only 3-pointer.

Mikell had eight points and six rebounds in 15 minutes of action.

The Magi held a 20-point lead at halftime, 39-19, following two 3-pointers by senior Peyton Lamoureux and another by sophomore Jaxon Gunville, plus a jumper off the glass by senior Chandler Albertson.

Hot shooting by Albertson led to an 8-2 run to start the second half. He finished with 15 points. While Lamoureux and Schimke tied with a match-high 16 points.

“It feels great to come out before the game even starts and hear the crowd cheering,” Lamoureux said. “It feels really good and gives you a lot of energy… We played good team offense and the defense was pretty good, (especially) in the full court. But, we can still improve on everything.”

Minot used a full-court press selectively to fluster the Saints and tried to rush the ball up the court on every defensive rebound.

A 3-pointer by Lamoureux crossed the Magi over the 30-point margin for the first time at 69-38 with just under six minutes to play. Shortly after, Minot had the Saints doubled up, 81-40, on another Lamoureux three and a fast break layup.

Lamoureux went 4-of-7 on 3-pointers, as did Gunville with two triples coming in the final minutes. Gunville’s 12 points all came on 3-pointers. Minot outscored St. Mary’s 49-26 in the second half.

The Saints were led offensively by Cole Gendreau with 15 points and Luke Kmabeitz with eight points. They shot 26.8 percent from the floor (15 of 56) and went 3-for-21 on 3-pointers.

The Magi play three out of their next four games at home. They host Dickinson next on Saturday at 7:45 p.m.

Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.