Grafton opens state Class B girls basketball tournament with win over Glenburn
Spoilers advance to Friday night's semifinal round
MINOT-- Powered by a 24-point third quarter and 19 points from senior guard Julia Dusek, the Grafton Spoilers defeated the Glenburn Panthers 65-33 on Thursday afternoon in the opening game of the North Dakota state Class B girls basketball tournament at the Minot State Dome.
The win advances the Spoilers to Friday’s semifinal round.
“I think our physicality wore on them,” Spoilers head coach Laurie Sieben said. “We don’t normally see a lot of 1-3-1 (zone defense). We worked on it in practice, but they were very disciplined in their spots.”
Both teams rode into the state tournament with similar regular-season records and comparable production on the court. Grafton won Region 2 with a 22-2 overall record, while Glenburn finished 23-2 on the way to winning Region 6 without finishing first in the regular season in District 12.
In the opening quarter, both teams were able to limit a majority of the damage from the field but the Spoilers got the ball rolling late in the first quarter. Carlee Sieben picked up some crucial points in the paint to get the momentum going and then Dusek hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first quarter to make it an 11-5 Grafton lead.
“They play a heck of a 1-3-1 defense,” said Sieben. “I think that made us uncomfortable at times, but I thought the girls adjusted well and were able to establish the tempo.”
Going into the second quarter, turnovers would open up the game on each side, but Glenburn failed to convert on a number of chances going the other way.
Grafton would score from deep again to solidify its control of the game. Reagan Hanson converted the three after a steal. This would be followed up by a Dusek layup to make it a 22-10 game, giving her 11 points in the first half.
“We knew coming in they had a really talented 1-3-1 with a lot of talented players at the top, and that’s not something we’re really used to,” Dusek said. “It was challenging to start off, but once we kept moving the ball it opened things up for us.”
The Spoilers 12-3 second quarter run was capped by a Cassie Erickson triple on their last full possession of the half, giving Grafton a 27-13 halftime lead.
The Panthers pushed back to start the second half with an 8-0 run, as McKenna Rolland hit consecutive 3-pointers, but the Spoilers deflected any momentum Glenburn brought from the break, scoring 24 in the third quarter -- including 12 points coming from beyond the 3-point stripe.. The Grafton lead climbed to 51-24 entering the final quarter.
“You got to see Julia (Dusek) and our starters play four quarters. Julia, Carlee (Sieben) and Walker (Demers), they’ve probably only played 10 games in the fourth quarter,” Sieben said of Dusek. “She’s hard to guard because she can extend the floor, she can defend, she gets to the rim and that’s just really nice to have.”
Dusek led all scorers with 19, with Hanson and Erickson adding 10 points each and Cassie and Carlee Sieben contributed seven and six points, respectively.
Grafton 65, Glenburn 33
Halftime: Grafton 27, Glenburn 13
Glenburn -- Lorelei McIver 13, McKenna Rolland 10, Deanna Heinze 3, Nadia Post 5, Sophie Bachmeier 2
Grafton -- Julia Dusek 19, Carlee Sieben 6, Reagan Hanson 10, Cassie Sieben 7, Walker Demers 8, Anna Carignan 3, Cassie Erickson 10, Kiera Cole 2