With just under six minutes to go in the second quarter, Grafton’s Carlee Sieben launched a shot from the wing. It hit nothing but net, like so many shots she’s taken during her career.
But this shot was special. It gave her access to the 2,000-point club in North Dakota girls basketball. Sieben became what’s believed to be the 36th player in state basketball history to have scored 2,000 or more career points.
The shot was the highlight in Grafton’s 79-26 win over Drayton/Valley-Edinburg on Monday in the opening round of the North Dakota Class B Region 2 tournament at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Grafton, the No. 3-ranked team in North Dakota, improved to 20-2 and will take on Cavalier in Tuesday night’s semifinal round.
“Those milestones are special because it takes a village to reach it,” said Grafton coach Laurie Sieben. “Carlee has had great opportunities but she’s worked very, very hard at it and she loves the game. And she’s really fortunate to have been surrounded with people who love the game as well. These things happen when teams are having success.”
Sieben led Grafton with 19 points and now has 2,014 points for her career.
Cassie Sieben, Carlee’s twin sister, added 14 points while Reagan Hanson finished with 11 to lead a balanced Grafton scoring attack.
The milestone also may have produced another advantage for the Grafton 2,000-point scorer and her teammates.
The burden of reaching that milestone is over, meaning the Spoilers can concentrate on the big picture -- a state Class B title.
“I guess I don’t have to focus on that milestone,” said Carlee Sieben. “I kind of knew I was close but when the game was going on I just focused on the game.”
After Sieben hit the milestone basket, a timeout was called and the senior guard was recognized for her achievement.
After the game resumed, Sieben hit two more 3-pointers in the next couple of minutes as the Spoilers rolled to the win.
The Grafton coach said her team wants to get back to the state Class B title game. A year ago, Langdon-Edmore-Munich beat Grafton 52-41 in the championship game.
“Our players are on a mission to try and put themselves in a position they were in last year,” said the Grafton coach, referring to the Spoilers' run to the state title game. “It’s no secret.”
Drayton/Valley-Edinburg, which was down to seven players, was led by Kasey Stegman’s 10 points.
Cavalier 63, Hatton-Northwood 51
Eden Carrier and Rylen Burgess each scored 20 points to lead Cavalier to the quarterfinal win over Hatton-Northwood.
The Tornadoes led 35-25 at the half.
Jade Kihne added 10 points for Cavalier.
Amara Howson and Skyler Uglem led Hatton-Northwood with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Thompson 65, North Border 18
Thompson, ranked No. 5 in the Class B poll, rolled to the semifinal round as 10 players reached the scoring column, led by Mackenzie Hughes’ 13 points. Olivia Dick added 12, Jada Welke 11 and Madeleine Stefonowicz 10.
Thompson led 41-8 at the half.
North Border received 10 points from Jenna Fraser.
Midway-Minto 67, May-Port-C-G 45
Midway-Minto, which received votes in the final state Class B poll, improved to 19-2 with its win.
Elizabeth Schanilec led the Mustangs with 30 points. It was the highest-scoring output of the opening day of the tournament.
April Schmitz added 15 for Midway-Minto.
Rylie Satrom led May-Port-C-G with 17 points. The Patriots closed the season at 11-11.