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Grafton rolls into another Class B Region 2 championship game

Spoilers beat Cavalier in regional semifinal round

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Cavalier's Madysen Norstrom , left, and Grafton guard Grace Narloch, right, scramble for a loose ball in the fourth quarter of a N.D. Class B Region 2 girls basketball semifinals game at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – Grafton has relied on 6-foot-3 junior Walker Demers a lot this season. The Spoilers received help from the Division I recruit again Wednesday in the North Dakota Class B Region 2 tournament.

That’s no surprise.

But Grafton also received a lot of production from other players as the Spoiler rolled past Cavalier 64-43 in the regional semifinal round at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Demers, who leads Grafton in scoring with a 16.6 points-per-game average, scored nine against Cavalier, but the Spoilers also received 21 points from Reagan Hanson, 12 from Cassie Erickson and 11 from Ainsley McLain..

Grafton will hope to use that scoring balance against Thompson in Thursday’s championship game, which will be the fourth-straight year the two Region 2 powers will meet with a berth in next week’s state Class B tournament on the line. Thompson downed Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg in the second semifinal game of the day

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“Obviously, we want Walker to touch the ball,” said Grafton coach Laurie Sieben. “But we ask all the girls to be confident and we’re always working for the great shot.”

Earlier this season, Grafton rolled to a 73-23 win over Cavalier.

The Tornadoes, however, were hanging around midway through the third quarter, trailing by 13 points.

That didn’t surprise Grafton’s coach.

“We like to push the pace but Cavalier made us uncomfortable,” said Sieben. “That’s important for a team to feel that but I thought our girls did a nice job of persevering through that at the end of the third quarter.”

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Cavalier swingman Rylen Burgess (4) pushes past Grafton's Jadrian Moe (14) for a layup in the third quarter of a N.D. Class B Region girls basketball semifinals game at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Cavalier was led by Rylen Burgess, who scored 12 points. The Tornadoes dropped to 12-9 and will close out its season Thursday against Mayville-Portland-CG in the Region 2 third-place game.

For Grafton, however, the focus remains on another Region 2 title and another state Class B championship, which the Spoilers won last season in Minot.

The Spoilers beat Thompson 61-34 earlier this season.

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But regional title games, on a neutral floor, sometimes have a way of flipping the script.

“We have to make good choices on the offensive end and remain disciplined on defense because when you get to this stage of the season they’re not going to hand it over to you easily,” said Sieben.

Grafton 64, Cavalier 43

Halftime: Grafton 40, Cavalier 22

Cavalier – Madysen Norstrom 6, Teagyn Fitzsimonds 7, Rylen Burgess 12, Carmyn LeTexier 1, Jade Kihne 5, Kaylee Kemp 4

Grafton – Claire Bjorneby 2, Reagan Hanson 21, Trinity Parsons, 2, Ainsley McLain 11, Jadrian Moe 4, Cassie Erickson 12, Addison Fredericksen 1, Walker Demers 9, Keira Cole 2

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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