JAMESTOWN — There's no question about what's ailing the Valley City High School boys basketball team.
"Our offense," junior forward Chase Carpenter said. "We just can't score.
"We're taking bad shots, forcing the ball into the post, just not doing anything great."
The Hi-Liners lost 58-45 Thursday at Jamestown High School. It was the fifth loss in a row.
Similar to the team's loss to West Fargo earlier this month, it wasn't necessarily bad play that lost the game. The shots simply weren't falling.
The Hi-Liners finished the game 18-45 from the field with no 3-pointers.
The Bluejays went 19-52, a lower percentage, but landed eight from outside the arc.
"We've got to find guys that can put the ball in the hoop," said Valley City coach Scott Hurlimann. "That's our biggest problem is that we just have a hard time scoring."
The scoring issues came early for the team, which fell behind when Jamestown hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession of the game.
The Hi-Liners were forced to play from behind and never tied or held the lead.
Defensively, Valley City kept with it all game, so even though the Hi-Liners had trouble scoring, the Bluejays were far from perfect as well.
Although the Hi-Liners had 23 turnovers, it was only three more than their opponents.
At points in the game when the Hi-Liners got momentum going, the Bluejays were able to come up with 3-pointers to extend the lead.
The first of the big threes came five minutes in following a layup by VC's Josh Magnuson that narrowed the Bluejays' lead to 5-2.
The next possession, Jamestown worked the ball to Arron Benson who upped the lead to 8-2.
A few minutes later, once Valley City narrowed the lead to 13-7, Danny Fischer hit a 3-pointer that upped the lead to 16-7 and was part of 13-0.
Following Fischer's three, Ryan Schlenker hit two free throws, followed them with a 3-pointer. Dyllan Anderson then added another three to make it 24-7.
Valley City allowed only four more points the rest of the half and narrowed the lead to 28-15 by halftime.
But the Bluejays' shooters came out of halftime with the same precision as the first half and hit three 3-pointers in the first three and a half minutes, despite a comeback effort that was being made by Valley City.
Jamestown eventually worked their way to the largest lead of the game, 24 points, late in the half.
It wasn't until the final five and a half minutes that Valley City went on a run of their own. The Hi-Liners finished the game with a 15-4 run.
Hurlimann said the team expected scoring to be an issue this year but said the team needs to start scoring sooner rather than later in games.
"You get a little confidence and you feel a little better," he said. "It's tough to focus on defense over and over again when you can't score any points."
Despite the struggles, the Hi-Liners finished with three scorers in double digits.
Chase Carpenter led the team with 13 points, Mason Denholm had 12 and Joey Halgrimson had 10.
Fischer led Jamestown with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Jordan Thoreson had eight.