Following Minot High's non-league contest with Grand Forks Central on Saturday night, Majettes coach Todd Magnuson threw an annual-but-belated Christmas party for his young club.
Unfortunately for the small, holiday-break sized group of fans at Magic City Campus, Minot's giving spirit was premature.
The Majettes coughed up 31 possessions in a 57-43 loss to the Knights, dropping Minot to 1-5 heading into the new year.
Minot High School senior Morgan Milbrath goes up for a layup during the Majettes’ 57-43 loss to Grand Forks Central on Saturday at Magic City Campus.
"You're not going to win many games with that many turnovers," Magnuson said. "It's really been a thorn in our side. I thought I had some players that could take care of the ball, but we've struggled. We were very impatient."
Turnovers weren't the only millstone for the Majettes, though.
Central standout Taylor Hammer was a nuisance for Minot from wire to wire, pouring in a game-high 26 points. The 6-foot senior was efficient from the 3-point range (3-for-3), inside and at the line (7-for-9).
Minot, which led most of the first half, held a 32-30 lead two minutes into the second half before Hammer helped spearhead a 21-6 run.
Central upped its defensive pressure in the second half and went inside to its sizable front line.
"We couldn't match their physicality" Magnuson said. "Once they pounded the ball inside I knew we'd have trouble with that."
The Majettes had flashes of brilliance in the first half, however, jumping out to 13-7 lead. Minot junior Jayden Moum, who had a team-high 13 points, hit a 3 just before halftime to knot it at 26.
Twenty-five of the game's 41 fouls were in the first stanza and neither team could really develop a rhythm.
"It was so physical at times that it was sloppy," Central coach Brett Hintz said. "A lot of of fouls kinda slowed the game but we were able to get going (in the second half)."
Hintz was especially proud of the Knights' defensive effort, holding Minot to a paltry 38 percent from the field. Majettes standout Andi Hankla (eight points) was also battling foul trouble.
"The way (Minot) can shoot the ball, I was really happy with holding them to 17 points in the second half," Hintz said.
Minot, which travels to Mandan on Jan. 11, was just 50 percent (10 for 20) at the free-throw line.