Cavalier advances to semis

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North Border's Jacob Johnson (22) snags the ball past Cavalier forward Brodie Cluchie (11) on a second quarter rebound during Monday's N.D. Class B Region 2 quarterfinals game at the Betty Engelstad SIoux Center. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

There was no close, no near miss, this time for Cavalier.

The Tornadoes claimed a 56-43 win Monday against North Border in the quarterfinal round of the North Dakota Region 2 boys high school basketball tournament at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Cavalier brought the No. 5 seed into the tournament. The Tornadoes were 1-4 during the regular season against the four teams seeded ahead of them. None of those four losses were by more than six points, including a pair of 3-point setbacks to No. 4 seed North Border.

"We led in every one of those games until the final minute or so,'' Cavalier coach Bryan Ratchenski said. "But poor free-throw shooting down the stretch hurt us.''


Instead, Cavalier maintained its lead in the final eight minutes with its free-throw shooting. The Tornadoes were 9-of-12 from the line in the fourth quarter. "That's definitely above average for us,'' Bryan Ratchenski said.

Cavalier took command late in the first half. Colton Ratchenski scored five points in a second quarter-closing 9-3 Cavalier run. That gave the Tornadoes a 26-16 lead at halftime.

The Tornadoes maintained a 43-33 lead after three quarters.

"I liked our energy today,'' Bryan Ratchenski said.

"Our defense was great. Our defensive intensity was phenomenal. We had a lot of steals. Andre (Carrier) did a phenomenal job blocking shots and rebounding. They're a great shooting team. We took away their outside shots.''

North Border coach Dany Moore said his team never got into an offensive flow.

"We struggled offensively,'' Moore said. "We average 63 points a game. We scored 43. That shows we weren't where we needed to be. We didn't have the high energy level we needed. We didn't match their energy.''

Brodie Cluchie had 19 points and Colton Ratchenski 14 to lead Cavalier, which plays Hatton-Northwood in a 6 p.m. semifinal game Tuesday. The Tornadoes improved to 15-8.


North Border, which closed at 16-6, received 14 points from Matt Greendahl and 13 from Jaden Lee.

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