Looking to lock up a home game

The No. 24-ranked Jamestown College women need one more win to clinch home-court advantage in the opening round of the Dakota Athletic Conference postseason tournament.

It won’t be easy.

The Jimmies host No. 5-ranked Black Hills State on Wednesday. The Yellow Jackets are tied with Dickinson State for first place in the DAC and are playing for a conference title.

On Thursday, the Jimmies take on South Dakota Mines. If Mines can upset Valley City State on Wednesday and JC loses to Black Hills, the Hardrockers could earn a first-round home game by beating Jamestown College.

"You want to be at home for playoff games," JC coach Mark Wiest said. "Obviously, the best scenario is being at home thorughout the playoffs, but that hasn’t happened for us. But you get in that top four and you secure at least one game. An then as the tournament goes on, a number of things can happen … you position yourself for maybe another home game at some point."

The Jimmies will likely face either South Dakota Mines or Minot State in the DAC quarterfinals. They can still finish as high as the No. 3 seed or fall to the No. 5 seed.

"We really don’t care who we play at this point in time when it comes to the playoffs," Wiest said. "But we’d like to be at home at least for the first game. And we want to go in with some momentum on our side. We’ve won three of four and if we can get Black Hills and Tech, you go into the playoffs with a little more confidence, you feel a little better about yourself. Those are all really big keys when you get to this point in the season."

Scoreboard watching

One of the first people to congratulate Jeff Trumbauer on the Jimmies’ 74-73 road win over Dickinson State on Saturday night was none other than Black Hills State coach Paul Sather.

After all, the Blue Hawks’ loss clinched the Dakota Athletic Conference regular-season title for Black Hills State. That means the road to Branson goes through Spearfish, S.D.

"Coach Sather texted me after the game and said thank you," Trumbauer said. "And I said, well, my pleasure."

Who says college coaches aren’t scoreboard watching?

The road win may mean a quick return trip to Scott Gym for the Jimmies.

"The weird thing is, we beat them and now likely we’re going to have to go back to their place on Sunday," Trumbauer said. "As things play out here, it looks like they’ll be the 2 seed and likely we’ll need a little break to get out of the 7 seed spot, so it’ll be interesting to see what shakes down here this week."

The Jimmies host Sather and the Yellow Jackets on Wednesday and South Dakota Mines on Thursday. The opening round of the DAC postseason tournament is Sunday.