At this time of the season, success depends on consistency. Teams won’t change much -- if anything -- as long as things are going well.
Things are going well for Grafton and Thompson -- the two recent heavyweights of North Dakota Class B Region 2 girls basketball.
Grafton -- the No. 3-ranked team in North Dakota Class B basketball -- and Thompson -- ranked No. 5 -- both steamrolled their opponents in Tuesday night’s semifinal round of the Region 2 tournament at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Grafton improved to 21-2 with its 81-31 win over Cavalier while Thompson moved to 20-2 with its 52-31 win over Midway-Minto.
On Thursday night, the teams will again meet for the regional title and a berth in the upcoming North Dakota state Class B tournament next month in Minot.
The teams are no strangers to the region title game. Grafton downed Thompson 58-38 in last year’s title game. Thompson won the region title in 2018 and 2019 and has been a fixture in the championship game for the better part of a decade..
“We’re excited to be back,” said Grafton coach Laurie Sieben. “This is a group that enjoys being together and they work hard. They have a competitive spirit and they’re fun to be around.
“We’re really excited about the work this team has done throughout the season.
“When we step on the floor Thursday, we just want to be us. We’re just going to be ourselves and we want to put together four good quarters of basketball.”
Grafton and Thompson played once this season, with the Spoilers taking a 75-54 win on Jan. 19 in Grafton.
Thompson coach Jason Brend said his team looks forward to another showdown with Grafton.
“We’re excited,” said the Thompson coach. “After they beat us, we kind of set the goal of getting another chance to play against them.
“They’re a heck of a team.and we just want to give ourselves an opportunity.”
Grafton 81, Cavalier 31
A day after she went over the 2,000-point mark for her career, Grafton’s Carlee Sieben scored 22 more points in leading the Spoilers. The senior guard was one of three Grafton players in double figures as Walker Demers and Julia Dusek each finished with 17 points.
Cavalier received 10 points from Eden Carrier. She was the lone Cavalier player in double figures.
Cavalier coach Sandy Laxdal had no complaints after the game.
“It was a good season for us,” he said. “We didn’t have any seniors and we went as far as we did last year.”
Grafton led 43-18 at the half.
Thompson 52, Midway-Minto 31
Earlier this season, Thompson downed Midway-Minto 50-44.
The semifinal meeting was a different story.
Thompson got the jump early, hitting its perimeter shots and bolted out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter.
Mackenzie Hughs, with a strong perimeter game, led the Tommies with 17 points. Olivia Dick added 10 as the Tommies led 30-11 at halftime.
“Our main focus coming in was defense,” said Brend. To hold their team to basically what one of their players scored last night … defense and rebounding definitely was a theme tonight.”
Midway-Minto received 12 points from Elizabeth Schanilec, who topped all players with 30 points during Monday’s quarterfinal round.