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Defending state champion Grafton rolls in Region 2 opener

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Grafton's Reagan Hanson (left) and Larimore's Sadie Aamodt scurry for the ball near midcourt during their Region 2 basketball game Monday, Feb. 21, 2022, at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks.
Korrie Wenzel / Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – Thirteen seconds into the game, Grafton’s Ainsley McLain hit a 3-pointer from the right wing. The three-pointers continued to fall and Grafton continued to roll on as the Spoilers opened the North Dakota Class B Region 2 girls basketball tournament with a 67-23 win over Larimore on Monday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

The game’s big highlight, however, was the milestone reached by Grafton’s Walker Demers, who went over the 1,000-point mark for her career. The South Dakota recruit led the Spoilers with 19 points.

Only three of the four quarterfinal games were played, however, as another round of winter weather took its toll on games. The Mayville-Portland-CG/Park River/Fordville-Lankin game was postponed until Tuesday.

Grafton will take an 18-3 record into Wednesday’s semifinal round.

The Spoilers are looking for their third-straight Region 2 title and are also shooting for a second-straight state Class B title.

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But the Spoilers aren’t looking that far into the future.

“We’re grateful to move on,” said Grafton coach Laurie Sieben. “And it’s Game 2 of a new season. We just have to be ourselves; that is how we approach things.

“The girls did a nice job of coming out ready to play. And they’re playing for each other. That’s what we emphasize in our culture.”

The Spoilers improved to 18-3 and were ranked No. 4 in this week’s final North Dakota Class B girls basketball poll.

Grafton has three losses – but they all came against state powers – Kindred, Four Winds-Minnewaukan and Langdon-Edmore-Munich, three teams ranked in the final Class B poll.

Reagan Hanson added 14 points for the Soilers while Trinity Parsons added 10.

Demers, a junior, helped lead Grafton to a state title last season and has been the Spoilers’ top scorer this season.

“We knew Walker’s 1,000 points were coming but it was real fitting she did it at The Betty at tournament time,” said Sieben

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Larimore, which closed out at 4-16, was led by Bethany Holter’s 12 points. Willo Morten added nine.

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Larimore senior Bethany Holter (right) brings the ball upcourt against the defense of Grafton's Jadrian Moe during their Region 2 game Monday, Feb. 21, 2022, at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks.
Korrie Wenzel / Grand Forks Herald
Grafton Larimore 5.jpg
Grafton's Walker Demers secures the ball in front of teammate Ainsley McLain (13) during the Spoilers' win over Larimore Monday, Feb. 21, 2022, at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks.
Korrie Wenzel / Grand Forks Herald
Grafton Larimore 6.jpg
Larimore's Mercedes Hoverson dribbles out from under the basket during the Polar Bears' game against Grafton Monday, Feb. 21, 2022, in Grand Forks.
Korrie Wenzel / Grand Forks Herald

Related Topics: PREP SPORTS
Wayne Nelson is the sports editor at the Herald.


He has been with the Grand Forks Herald since 1995, serving as the UND football and basketball beat writer as well as serving as the sports editor.



He is a UND graduate and has been writing sports since the late 1970s.



Follow him on Twitter @waynenelsongf. You can reach him at (701) 780-1268 or wnelson@gfherald.com.
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