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Thompson pulls away from Cavalier in region boys basketball

With 4:13 remaining, Kooper Henke's layup left Cavalier down only 53-43 and Thompson coach Brandy George a little nervous.

"With the way Cavalier can shoot, 10 points isn't a lot,'' George said. "They're a good shooting team.''

Instead of Cavalier's offense, however, it was Thompson's defense that prevailed. The Tommies shut Cavalier out in the final 4:13, pulling away to a 67-43 win Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the Region 2 boys high school basketball tournament at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

The Thompson defense became offensive down the stretch. In one 22-second span, Thompson got a pair of steals by Cole Sorby and another by Hayden Overby and converted those into five points, stretching the Thompson lead to 62-43 with 1:57 left.

"I thought we played harder down the stretch,'' George said. "I think we tightened up the defense. And we got some runs. Those can be back-breakers late in games.''

Thompson trailed only once, falling behind 24-23 with 1:53 left in the second quarter, but closed the half on a 7-0 run for a 30-24 lead. The Tommies were up 46-34 after three quarters.

Cadyn Schwabe's 23 points led Thompson. "Cadyn's got another gear,'' George said. "He creates a lot of things on offense. He may have looked to score a little more today. He has that ability.''

Overby and Marcus Hughes added 11 points each.

Cavalier had no such balance. Henke finished with 22 points and Jayden Wheeling 11 to account for all but 10 of the Tornadoes' points. Cavalier played without leading scorer Andre Carrier after he suffered an ankle injury with 5:49 left in the first half.

"That took away our best scorer and rebounder, and length on defense. It certainly didn't help us,'' Cavalier coach Brady Laxdal said.