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Chris Aarhus / Forum News Service, Published March 14 2014

Minot advances to ND Class A state girls basketball title game

MINOT, N.D. – Jayden Moum appears to have a crystal ball.

The senior from Minot stood up at the team’s Christmas banquet and declared that her team was going to the state championship game.

“We had talked about making state and I said, ‘Let’s expand on that. We’re going to the state championship game,’” she said. “That’s been our goal since.”

Third-seeded Minot made good on that prediction, holding off No. 1-ranked Bismarck High 57-52 in the North Dakota Class A state semifinals on Saturday at the Minot State Dome. It’s the Majettes’ first trip since going back-to-back in 2000-01, winning their only title in 1978.

“We believed we could do it,” said Minot sophomore Cassie Askvig, whose team meets Fargo Shanley at 6 p.m. today. “I know there were people that didn’t expect it, but we did.”

Askvig had a game-high 19 points, finishing with nine rebounds. Sophie Bengson was also in double figures with 11 for the Majettes, who led for nearly the entire game including a 51-46 advantage with 3 minutes, 29 seconds to go.

The Demons made a final push to take back the lead, and it was a floater from Bismarck’s Kylee Leingang that cut the deficit to one at 51-50.

However, Minot’s 6-of-12 performance from the free-throw line in the final 1:34 was good enough to secure the win. The Majettes held Class A’s top scoring offense to a season-low point total.

“We controlled the tempo and got into our offense,” Minot coach Todd Magnuson said. “We didn’t get into a running game with Bismarck. That really helped us.”

Bismarck was paced by Courtney Trolliey and Keisha Engelhardt, who had 17 and 15 points, respectively.

MINOT (16-8): Askvig 6 7-10 19, Bengson 2 6-10 11, M. Duttenhefer 2 2-2 8, Suko 3 0-0 7, S. Duttenhefer 2 0-2 6, Moum 0 4-4 4, Hughes 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16-41 19-28 57.

BISMARCK (21-3): Trolliey 5 5-8 17, Engelhardt 6 3-3 15, Leingang 4 1-2 12, Hilzendeger 2 0-0 4, Fisher 0 2-2 2, Kiefer 0 2-3 2. Totals: 17-62 13-18 52.

Halftime: M 31, B 22.

3-pointers: M. Duttenhefer 2, S. Duttenhefer 2, Suko, Bengson, Leingang 3, Trolliey 2. Rebounds: M 37 (Askvig 9), B 42 (Engelhardt 16). Assists: M 10 (Moum 3), B 12 (3 with 4). Fouls: M 17, B 20. Fouled out: Hilzendeger. Turnovers: M 17, B 13.

Chris Aarhus writes for the Jamestown (N.D.) Sun