Lady Jays sharp in national tournament, defeat Northampton 85-57

The Lady Jays jumped out to an early lead and played consistently across four quarters. Minnesota West plays Monroe College-Bronx in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 4 p.m.

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Olivia Hayenga (20) drives towards the basket for the Minnesota West Lady Jays first round matchup against Northampton in a the NJCAA DIII women's basketball national tournament
Dominic Burns/The Globe

ROCHESTER — The Minnesota West Lady Jays started fast in their opening game against Northampton at the NJCAA DIII women’s basketball national tournament. The Lady Jays defeated the Spartans 85-57 in their Wednesday afternoon matchup on the campus of Rochester Community and Technical College.

RCTC defeats Minnesota West 73-53 in NJCAA DIII women's basketball championship game.
Minnesota West plays rival Rochester in the championship game on Saturday at 5 p.m.
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Minnesota West hosted a send-off for the national tournament bound Lady Jays basketball team Tuesday morning. The Lady Jays were given a police escort through town before leaving for Rochester.

The Lady Jays take on fourth seeded Monroe College-Bronx on Thursday at 4 p.m. The Monroe Express had a bye in the opening round.

The Lady Jays were relaxed and poised throughout the game with Northampton, and found the pace that made them such a tough team in the regular season. The Lady Jays started the game on a 14-2 scoring run, and finished the first quarter with 26 points.

The Lady Jays created offensive opportunities through defensive pressure, as the Spartans committed turnovers off the inbound and struggled to move the ball through press defense. The Lady Jays scored 29 points off of turnovers.

“You got to talk a lot,” said Dasia Potter on what makes a press defense work. “And then just trusting your teammates. If you are going to go get that trap, you gotta trust that they are going to take over where you were at.”


The Lady Jays offense was balanced and consistent throughout the game. Minnesota West scored 26 points in the first quarter, 19 points in the second, 20 points in the third, and 20 points in the fourth. The Lady Jays had seven players score, and 21 points came from the bench.

“You could kind of tell we had 17 days off,” said Lady Jays coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka. “We took it to the basket hard, and I really thought we made some nice passes, good passes on the backside to get layups.”

The Lady Jays' leading scorer was Olivia Hayenga with 28 points. Hayenga scored in many different ways, was an efficient 8-of-10 on her 2-point field goal attempts, and made both 3-point shots she attempted. Hayenga shot 6-of-9 from the free throw line. Her aggressiveness was on full display with a highlight reel steal on a Northampton inbound pass that she timed up and turned into a breakaway layup.

“I don’t think you can teach that. She just has that knack for the ball,” said Hayenga-Hostikka. “To be honest she gambles, and there are times where she gets her butt chewed because she gambles and misses. You can kind of call her high risk, high reward."

A player that stepped up big for the Lady Jays this game was Dannyn Peterson. Peterson finished with 15 points, and was a big factor in the post. The Lady Jays scored 44 points from under the basket.

“I thought Dannyn played incredible. I think that is the best game she has played all season,” said Hayenga-Hostikka.

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Hattie DeVries (10) catches the pass from Dannyn Peterson (33) for the Lady Jays in their first round victory over Northampton in the NJCAA DIII national tournament.
Dominic Burns/The Globe

Minnesota West was effective from deep in a game where the Lady Jays did not need to take a lot of 3-point shots. The Lady Jays shot 46.7 percent and connected 7-of-15 attempts. The Lady Jays also were effective in crunch time, with the first two quarters ending with made baskets at the buzzer. Peterson scored the first buzzer beating shot, with a nifty spin into a layup. Hayenga scored her buzzer beater before the half after grabbing an offensive rebound and throwing it back at the hoop.

The leading scorers for Northampton were Kania Day with 14 points and Zoe Cruz with 13 points. The Spartans shot 32.3 percent on their field goals making 21-of-65.


Potter scored 17 points and showed hustle in chasing down a breakaway and getting the ball out of bounds to stop an easy basket.

“At the end of the day if you want it more you’re going to get it,” said Potter. “I just keep that mentality.”

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Dasia Potter (22) defends against a Northampton inbound pass for the Minnesota West Lady Jays in the NJCAA DIII women's basketball national tournament.
Dominic Burns/The Globe

Madisyn Huisman and Tia Murray finished with nine points and seven rebounds each. Hattie DeVries scored four points and was dialed in with her defensive assignment.

“She just comes in and gives us tough minutes inside. She does a lot of the dirty work,” said Hayenga-Hostikka on DeVries.

Northampton 14 23 35 57

Minnesota West 26 45 65 85

The Trojans finish their boys basketball season with a 21-7 record, and graduate six seniors in Abagotte Opiew, Marenono Opiew, Charles Brands, Nasim Zeidi, Mikele Walu, and Omot Okony.
Minnesota West will play top-seeded Owens in semifinal women's basketball national tournament game at 5 p.m.
The Trojans play Mankato East in the Section 2AAA championship in St. Peter at 7:30 p.m.

Northampton (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Cruz 1-4-2-13, Spence 0-2-1-5, K. Day 0-7-0-14, Reynolds 0-1-0-2, A. Day 0-0-5-5, Rivera 1-0-0-3, Yates 0-2-0-4, Cooper 1-0-0-3, Hines 0-2-2-6, Ellis 0-0-2-2. TOTALS 3-18-12-57.

Minnesota West (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Scheitel-Taylor 0-1-1-3, Huisman 1-3-0-9, Hayenga 2-8-6-28, Murray 1-3-0-9, Peterson 0-7-1-15, DeVries 0-1-2-4, Potter 3-4-0-17. TOTALS 7-27-10-85.

Dominic Burns is a reporter at the Globe who covers general news and sports.
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