Jamestown tops Davies for first Class A state boys basketball title since 1993

By Clay Cunningham

Forum News Service

BISMARCK — Coming off a 2016-17 season in which it won just two games, talks of the Jamestown boys basketball team winning a state tournament in just two years may have drawn snickers from some.

With a perfect season, capped by a dominant performance in the state championship game, in the books, it’s hard to imagine anyone laughing at the Blue Jays now.

A 14-2 run early in the first half gave the Blue Jays control for good, as they cruised to their first North Dakota Class A boys state basketball title since 1993 with a 66-49 win over Fargo Davies at the Bismarck Event Center Saturday, March 9.

“I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a third grader,” said junior Boden Skunberg, a North Dakota State commit who led all scorers with 23 points. “It just feels amazing to finally accomplish it.”

Jamestown gained separation by getting clean looks inside and out en route to shooting 56 percent from the floor in the first half.

The Blue Jays may have been even more impressive on the defensive end. Able to match up well with the Eagles’ size, they shut down the Eagles’ inside scoring throughout the first half. The Eagles, who had scored at least 69 points in every other game this season, couldn’t get anything going from 3-point range either, hitting just 3-of-9 in a first half that saw them trail by as many as 20 points.

Davies attempted to claw its way back into the game getting withing single-digits twice, the last time coming on a Ty Satter steal and score to make it 54-45 with 3 minutes, 30 seconds to play.

But Skunberg closed the door on the comeback attempt with a layup on Jamestown’s ensuing possession.

A program that hadn’t even had a winning season in three years, the Blue Jays completed the first perfect season in Class A basketball since Fargo North ran the table in 2002.

“It still really hasn’t hit me yet,” said senior center Mason Walters, who clinched a tournament most valuable player award with a 19-point, 15-rebound performance Saturday. “It’s really special and I’m super proud of it. Undefeated state championship, you can’t ask for more than that.”

A great run through the Eastern Dakota Conference ended in disappointment for Davies, which closed out the season 24-3.

Braeton Motschenbacher led the way with 20 points and Cameron Van Dam added 14. No other player scored more than six and only six Eagles cracked the scoring column.

“Hell of a season, crappy way to go out,” Van Dam said.

Coach Bart Mason is hopeful that final hurdle will be cleared next season.

“No doubt in my mind these guys will be back,” Manson said. “We played with a chip on our shoulder all this year from what happened last year. Maybe this will be a chip on our shoulder to get back and have a redemption next year.”

Half: J 35, FD 18

J: Lunzman 6, Skunberg 23, Kallenbach 6, Lamp 5, Walters 19, Wegenast 7

FD: Satter 2, Motschenbacher 20, Noel 6, Klabo 5, Van Dam 14, Hage 2.

Third place

Bismarck Century 59, Grand Forks Red River 58

Halftime: BC 27, GFRR 27.

BC: Ely 2, Auck 6, Mattern 24, Kraljic 2, Feeney 17, Stuart 6, Coleman 2.

GFRR: Obioha 18, Dvorak 14, Klefstad 5, Benson 8, Feller 3, Springer 3, Enerson 7.

Fifth place

West Fargo 89, Bismarck Legacy 69

Halftime: WF 38, Legacy 29.

WF: Miller 17, Aden 4, Hegerle 14, Birrenkott 10, Lyman 15, Lennon 27.

BL: Clements 23, Hilz 12, Patton 6, Messmer 3, Bitz 2, Kupfer 4, Woodbury 11, Miller 8.

All-tournament team

Braeton Motschenbacher, Fargo Davies; Boden Skunberg, Jamestown; Mason Walters, Jamestown; Treyton Mattern, Bismarck Century; Cameron Van Dam, Fargo Davies; Elijah Klein, Mandan; Will Obioha, Grand Forks Red River; Cade Feeney, Bismarck Century; Luke Lennon, West Fargo; Rhett Clements, Bismarck Legacy.

Most valuable player: Mason Walters, Jamestown.

Senior athlete of the year: Luke Lennon, West Fargo.

Coach of the year: Jacoby Lloyd, Jamestown