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March Mania

Minot boys win third straight Class A basketball title

Minot's KyJuan Johnson (1) goes to the hoop under pressure from Century's Lucas Mayer (32) and Kade Amundson (42). Minot went on to win the Boys Class A State Basketball Championship for the third consecutive year with the win over Century. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

BISMARCK — Sure Bismarck Century had beaten Minot for the West Region championship. But that wasn't the title game the Magicians were most worried about. They wanted their third straight state championship. With strong second-half defense, they got it.

West Region No. 2 seed Minot held West Region top seed Century to 19 points in the second half on its way to a 56-42 victory for the North Dakota Class A boys basketball state championship on Saturday, March 11, at the Bismarck Event Center.

"I think all of us remembered the feeling after last Saturday (in the West Region championship)," Minot's Justin Engg said. "It's something we never wanted to feel again. It carried over. We kept fighting."

This marks Minot's third straight state championship and a state-best 18th title in 75 state tournament appearances. Bismarck is next closest with 12.

KyJuan Johnson led Minot (25-2) with 13 of his 21 points in the second half to go with seven rebounds. Engg added 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

Josh Sipes led Century with 13 points and nine rebounds while Lucas Mayer added a double-double of 10 points and game-best 13 rebounds.

"I wanted this since the beginning. Now that's it's here, I feel unbelievable," Johnson said. "I try to be a leader and get the team going."

Minot started the game on a 5-0 run, but Century (22-5) came back with 10 unanswered points on its way to a three-point lead at halftime. The Magicians quickly reversed the course of the game after halftime and went on a 24-9 run in the first 11 minutes of the second half for a 12-point lead. Despite Century's urgent defense to close the game, the Magicians secured their state title.

Minot shot 11 of 27 (40.7 percent) in the second half. Minot head coach Dean Winczewski credited the improvement to a change of tempo. He said that's when the basket started getting bigger.

"It's an amazing thing because of the unselfishness of our kids," Winczewski said. "It is an amazing thing to put aside individual goals for the betterment of the team."

BC: Hauff 1, Rudolph 2, Symens 1, Mattern 2, Lynch 5, Mayer 10, Sipes 13, Amundson 8.

M: Johnson 21, Albertson 7, Engg 12, Lamoureux 3, Schimke 5, Klabunde 4, Lunde 2, Olthoff 2.

Half: BC 23, M 20.

Fifth-place game

West Fargo 65, West Fargo Sheyenne 56

WFS: Kuntz 16, Thiele 5, Anderson 10, Erickson 10, Reynolds 4, Trottier 2, Bonnema 9.

WF: Forrest 10, Morton 9, Sufi 6, Simon 6, Pistorius 23, Yeanay 7, Schatz 3, Lennon 1.

Half: WF 32, WFS 27.

Third-place game

Dickinson 71, Fargo Davies 65

D: Ballard 7, Moody 35, Jorda 4, Steffan 5, Ouellette 9, Steckler 2, Meidinger 9.

FD: Motschenbacher 12, Larson 10, Veit 11, Klabo 6, Baer 7, Stenseth 4, Anderson 2, Setness 2, Paper 11.

Half: D 43, FD 37.

All-tournament team

Matt Veit, Fargo Davies; Jake Paper, Fargo Davies; Joe Pistorius, West Fargo; Carter Bonnema, West Fargo Sheyenne; Alex Schimke, Minot; Kade Lynch, Bismarck Century. Unanimous selections: KyJuan Johnson, Minot; Josh Sipes, Bismarck Century; Aanen Moody, Dickinson; Jordan Meidinger, Dickinson.

Coach of the year: Bismarck St. Mary's Brent DeKok

Senior athlete of the year: Dickinson's Aanen Moody

Colton Pool

Pool is a reporter for The West Fargo Pioneer covering city sports and community news. He was the sports editor for The Dickinson Press covering Dickinson State athletics, high school athletics and Southwest Speedway. He graduated from North Dakota State with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. You can reach him by phone at 701-451-5715 or tweet him @CPoolReporter. 

(701) 451-5715