BOYS BASKETBALL: Tornadoes sizzle to start region tournament

Over the first seven minutes of the second half, Cavalier made four of the eight field goals it attempted. "That's pretty darn good shooting," Thompson coach Brandy George said. "On average, we're around a 38 percent team." On Monday, 50 percent ...

Cavalier's Brock Robbins (left) and Connor Hjelmstad of Thompson dive for a loose ball
Cavalier's Brock Robbins (left) and Connor Hjelmstad of Thompson dive for a loose ball in the first half of their quarterfinal game of the Region 2 boys basketball Tournament Monday in Grand Forks.JOHN STENNES/GRAND FORKS HERALD


Over the first seven minutes of the second half, Cavalier made four of the eight field goals it attempted.

“That’s pretty darn good shooting,” Thompson coach Brandy George said. “On average, we’re around a 38 percent team.”

On Monday, 50 percent shooting was a slump for the Tornadoes. Cavalier came out sizzling in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Region 2 Class B boys high school basketball tournament in beating Thompson 74-46 at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Cavalier, the defending region champion, was 11-of-13 from the field in the first quarter, then made 11 of 15 shots in the second quarter. That added up to a gaudy 79 percent shooting performance in the first half.


“I didn’t realize it was that good,” Cavalier coach Bryce Laxdal said. “We wanted good shots, to pound it into the paint. They didn’t have a big guy. I guess the guys listened.

“We usually shoot around 50 percent. I didn't expect us to shoot that well.”

And, as George said, “I thought we were playing good defense. There were quite a few shots we contested that they made.”

Brock Robbins had 23 points and Ryan Chrest 12 to pace the Tornadoes.

Freshman Calen Schwabe’s 15 points led the Tommies, with Hunter Ness adding 11.

  •   Mayville-Portland-CG 61, Park River/Fordville-Lankin 41: After giving up 18 points in the second quarter and 31 in the first half, the Mayville-Portland-CG defense went into shutdown mode.

  Park River/F-L managed only 10 second-half points. After a Levi Johnson basket pulled the Aggies within 42-39 with 2:14 left in the third quarter, PR/F-L managed no field goals and only two points the rest of the way.
  “It’s a credit to our defense,” Patriots coach Kyle Morehart said. “We contested shots better in the second half. We got the tempo down to where we want it, and tried to limit the second-chance opportunities they were getting in the first half.”

  After Johnson’s basket, the Patriots answered with a 19-0 run to break the game open. Connor Moore hit the first of his two treys in the run to get the spurt started. The remaining four field goals in the run came from close range.

  “We lost defensive position,” PR/FL coach Larry Omdahl said. “They executed well and found the open man. We lost track of Moore a few times; you can't do that. Then they got some bunnies and it snowballed on us.”


  Bennie Bradner had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Patriots. Moore added 16 points. Andrew Hylden’s 10 points led the Aggies.

  •   Grafton 61, Hatton-Northwood 44: The Spoilers went inside to break open a big second half.

  Hatton-Northwood led 35-32 at halftime after closing the second quarter on an 18-3 run. But Grafton pulled away by pounding the ball inside - none of the Spoilers’ 10 second-half field goals were taken from beyond five feet.
  “Austin (Contreras) got us going, creating shots for the other guys,” Grafton coach Riley Lillemoen said. “He made some great passes. We got more guys moving and cutting to get some easy looks.”

  Hatton-Northwood, on the other hand, struggled. After a 26-point second quarter, the Thunder totaled nine points in the second half.

  “So much of our game is off penetration,’’ H-N coach Keenan Konschak said. “They took that away from us in the second half. It seemed like they were everywhere we wanted to go.”

  Senior 6-foot-6 Garek Droog and 6-2 junior Hunter Baldwin each had double doubles for the Spoilers, Droog with 15 points and 11 rebounds, Baldwin with 18 points and 10 boards.

  Jace Pederson scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Thunder, 13 of those coming in the second quarter. Jacob Pladson added 13 points.

  •   Hillsboro-Central Valley 65, North Border 46: There were no tournament jitters this time for Austin Reed.

  Reed poured in 21 points off the bench and freshman classmate Kyle Henningsgard added 12, leading the Burros to the win. Reed had eight points, including a pair of treys, in a game-opening 16-3 run that put H-CV ahead to stay.
  “In the first game of the district tournament, he (Reed) was tentative,” H-CV coach Elliot Rotvold said. “But he came out ready to play today. And Kyle played a great floor game.

  “They’re freshmen. Sometimes we forget that. They play like veterans.”


  The Burros also ran to the early lead, scoring nine fast-break points in the first quarter that ended with H-CV leading 18-6. An 8-2 run by the Burros to close the first half boosted Hillsboro-Central Valley to a 32-18 lead. The Eagles got no closer than nine in the second half.

  Henningsgard had a double double with 10 rebounds to go with his 12 points.

  Austin Volk had 28 points and 11 rebounds to pace the Eagles. But, other than Donovan Beckman’s eight, no other Eagle scored more than three.

  “That was a pretty normal game for Austin,” Eagles coach Cooter Symington said. “But he didn't get much help offensively.”

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