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Dave Selvig / Forum Communications Co., Published January 14 2011

Jamestown men's basketball team tops Valley City State as Vollmer is honored

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – The return home was a successful one all the way around for the Jamestown College basketball teams.

Playing at the Jamestown Civic Center for the first time in 27 days, the Jimmies swept Valley City State – capped by the men’s 86-76 victory – and helped paralyzed football and track and field athlete James Vollmer with a free-will offering.

“James really embodies the type of student-athletes we have here at Jamestown College,” JC men’s coach Matt Murken said. “When coach (Bud) Etzold read that letter from James at halftime, it was silent in here. The athletic programs at Jamestown College are built on kids like James Vollmer. The way he’s handling his situation is really a tribute to him and his family and it’s brought a lot of pride to our school.”

An inspired second-half effort by the Jimmies helped them rally out of a deep early hole.

Valley City State led

34-22 deep into the opening half, but the Jimmies woke up and had it back to 40-37 on a 3 at the first-half horn by B.J. Mertens.

“We started a little sluggish, but we stuck together as a team. We didn’t get down, we didn’t start barking at each other, we just kept playing and fighting,” ace junior guard Byron Jones said. “It was a big win for us. They’re all big wins, but we definitely have to take care of business here at home.”

The late first-half surge continued in the second half as the Jimmies scored the first nine points, capped by a three-point play by Travis Burley.

“Defense is huge for every team, but it’s really big for us because when we get out and guard and create turnovers it leads to transition opportunities for us on the offensive end,” Murken said.

The Jimmies pushed the lead to 63-52 on back-to-back 3s by freshman Mark Hoge.

The Vikings, off to a rough 1-4 start in the DAC, didn’t go away meekly.

They nearly tied it in fact, scoring nine straight to make it 67-66 on a triple by Joe Bateman.

But the Jimmies put the clamps on from there, allowing just 10 points in the final five minutes.

Jones and Mertens splashed in threes for the Jimmies late to push the lead past 10 again.

Ten players scored in double figures.

Burley had 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Jimmies and Murken credited his first-half tip slam for exciting the team and the healthy home crowd.

Jones added 17 points for the Jimmies.

VCSU: Macomber 10, Klingberg 10, York 6, Kraft 10, Duske 14, Bateman 10, Rogers 3, Schneidermann 1, Weber 12.

JC: Burley 18, Peeters 12, Lawrence 4, Jones 17, Mertens 9, Williams 8, Hoge 16, Robbins 2.

Half: VCSU 40, JC 37.. 3-point goals: VCSU 6-16 (Bateman 4, Rogers, Kraft), JC 8-21 (Hoge 4, Mertens 3, Peeters). Total fouls: VCSU 22, JC 25. Rebounds: VCSU 26 (Macomber 5), JC 31 (Burley 13). Assists: VCSU 9 (York 3), JC 17 (Peeters 5).

Selvig is the sports editor for the Jamestown Sun