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March Mania

Unbeaten Jamestown boys roll past Wahpeton in state opener

Jamestown's Mason Walters (33), right, takes a shot over Wahpeton's Bryce Rader (11) during Thursday's North Dakota Class A state boys basketball tournament in Bismarck. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune1 / 2
Jamestown coach Jacoby Lloyd talks to his team during Thursday's North Dakota Class A boys basketball tournament quarterfinal game in Bismarck. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune2 / 2

BISMARCK -- The only unbeaten Class A boys basketball team, Jamestown more than lived up to its top ranking in Thursday's opening round of the North Dakota Class A state tournament.

The BlueJays flexed their muscle with 27-0 run in the first half of a 74-49 win over East No. 4 seed Wahpeton at the Bismarck Event Center.

The Huskies, in the state tournament for the first time since 2015, looked to make a game of it early, and found themselves in a 15-15 tie following a Corbin Cornelius 3-pointer.

That would be the Huskies' last highlight for some time.

Stopping Blue Jay center Mason Walters proved to be a grueling task for Wahpeton. Walters secured a double-double before halftime and finished with 16 points while adding a whopping 24 rebounds.

The Huskies finished with 28 rebounds as a team.

With virtually no one to match up with the 6-foot-7 Walters down low, Wahpeton coach Jeff Ralph knew his undersized team would have its hands full.

"We thought, maybe incorrectly, that we could handle the other guys, but we knew he was going to be trouble," Ralph said. "He killed us. We knew he was going to be a problem."

Walters had plenty of scoring help, as four other Blue Jays finished the game in double figures. Boden Skunberg finished with a game-high 19 points.

Josh Darwin had a team-best 17 points, but was the only Wahpeton player to score in double figures. Cornelius had a team-high seven rebounds.

Though they were able to outscore Jamestown for the remainder of the game, the 27-0 run unsurprisingly proved too much to overcome.

"That was the ball game right there," Ralph said. "We had some good shots maybe on half of those possessions on their run. You can't go empty that long."

Half: J 42, W 19

W: Desire 6, Rader 6, Hansen 2, Cornelius 8, Bartels 4, Darwin 17, Matejcek, Manock and Thimjon 2.

J: Douty 12, Lunzman 3, Skunberg 19, Kallenbach 4, Hilgemann 9, Lamp 11, Walters 16