Magi flex their depth in a 71-39 win over Williston

Justin Martinez/MDN Minot High’s Easton Larson (40) goes for a right-handed hook shot during the Magicians’ home game against Williston on Friday.

Head coach Dean Winczewski challenged his team’s role players to come through with some more production. That challenge was met.

The Minot High School boys basketball team (6-2) pieced together one of its more impressive wins of the season Friday night, blowing out Williston (1-10) at home by a score of 71-39. With the Coyote defense focusing on Minot’s primary scorers, it was the Magicians’ stellar depth that lifted the home team to the victory.

“We put together 36 good minutes,” Winczewski said. “We have a lot of guys that are productive and can make plays, so we have to continue to use everybody’s talents like we did tonight.”

The Magi began the game by exposing a mismatch in the paint.

Junior Easton Larson had a field day down low, scoring six of the team’s first 10 points with a series of savvy post moves. The 6-foot-6 center even expanded his range when the lanes got clogged by draining a deep two from the corner for his 10th point of the first half.

“We were just sharing the ball a lot and moving it quick,” Larson said. “We got a lot of good, open looks and just made them.”

With the Coyotes’ bigs struggling to contain Larson, Tucker Olson piled it on from long range. The junior guard delivered a massive boost for the Magi off the bench by sinking four threes in five attempts and finishing with 14 points in the first half.

Chants of “Tucker Olson” sounded from the student section as Minot strolled into halftime with a commanding 41-19 advantage.

“(Williston) was just leaving me open, and I kept hitting,” Olson said. “We’re really unselfish, so whoever has the hot hand is going to get the ball. Tonight it was me, but it could be anybody on this team.”

Minot kept its foot on the gas in the second half, as Olson tacked on another three triples to his resume.

Derry Lentz also got in on the fun. After struggling to find his touch in the first half, the junior forward scored five points and made a number of defensive plays in the second half to help give the Magi a 64-28 lead with seven minutes remaining.

Minot had little trouble closing things out, and the Magi rolled all the way to the 71-39 win.

Olson finished with a game-high 23 points on 7-for-11 shooting from deep, while Larson tallied 14 points and five rebounds in a game where Minot never let the Coyotes gain ground.

“A lot of it comes down to trying to match (our opponent’s) energy,” Winczewski said. “And I thought our kids did that. We did a tremendous job of not allowing Williston easy ones and rebounding.”

With the Magi clicking on all cylinders, the team will look to push its win streak to three today with a tough road test against Bismarck Legacy at 3:45 p.m.

Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.

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