At halftime of Minot High's 77-52 girls basketball win over Turtle Mountain on Friday, MHS coach Todd Magnuson didn't have to dig too deep to find the right words to tell the Majettes.
He knew what to say, and they knew what message was coming.
"We talked about the lead that we had up in Belcourt," Magnuson said. "We said we didn't want to let that relinquish, we wanted to keep that going."
In December, Minot built a 19-point lead at Turtle Mountain before two starters fouled out midway through the second half. That lead evaporated, and the Bravettes pulled off a 69-68 comeback win.
When Minot (8-5 overall, 6-4 West Region) entered its locker room at Magic City Campus during intermission Friday, it held a 44-21 advantage. Turtle Mountain (7-5, 6-4) scored on its first three possessions in the second half, trimming the lead to 18, before the Majettes continued their rout. They ballooned their lead to 33 with 15 minutes to play.
"It was the fire from losing that first game," said Minot sophomore forward Cassie Askvig, who had game highs of 20 points and seven rebounds. "We knew that we had to come back harder than ever, just more as a team and harder than ever."
Minot High sophomore forward Cassie Askvig, right, backs down Turtle Mountain’s Ramie DeCoteau on Friday at Magic City Campus. Askvig had game highs of 20 points and seven rebounds.
Minot's stingy man-to-man defense only forced 11 turnover, but limited Turtle Mountain to 18-of-59 (31 percent) on field goals. During a 6:08 span in the fist half, the Bravettes converted just one field goal while Minot reeled off a 20-2 run.
"I thought our man-to-man was pretty good tonight," Magnuson said. "I thought we did a good job on Winter Monette. That's who we wanted to shut down."
Monette, a 5-foot-9 wing, scored 11 points, but needed 16 shots (4-16) to do so.
Askvig, the region's second-leading scorer at 18.5 per game, carried her share, but had plenty of help around her. McKale Duttenhefer chipped in 16 points, Sophie Bengson added 12 and Jayden Moum poured in 10. Sierra Duttenhefer turned in a balanced effort with nine points, five assists and five rebounds.
"We just had more momentum as a team and when we're like that, we all contribute," Sierra Duttenhefer said. "Nine of us, 10 of us stepped up tonight."
Junior reserve Teasha Hughes illustrated that. She turned in her finest performance all year with a career-high eight points on 4-of-5 shooting.
"I really liked the way Teasha played tonight," Magnuson said. "She actually showed that she wasn't nervous. We know she can play that way. She plays that way in practice."
The Majettes followed up a 79-40 rout of St. Mary's the previous night by shooting 54 percent from the field (30-56) and assisting on 21 baskets with only 12 turnovers.
"Overally, I think we played some pretty good basketball these two nights," Magnuson said.
Ryan Holmgren covers Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.