Top-ranked Kindred rolls on in state Class B girls basketball tournament

Vikings to meet Shiloh Christian in semifinals

Kindred Beulah gbb1.jpg
Beulah's Allyson Walcker looks to pass the ball as Kindred's Abby Duchscherer defends in the second half of their game Thursday in the ND Class B girls tournament at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – In case anyone had forgotten about the Kindred girls basketball team, the Vikings reminded the state they’re as good – perhaps better – than they’ve ever been.

The top-ranked Vikings missed the past two state Class B girls basketball tournaments – falling to another state power Central Cass in their regional final – but they returned with a vengeance Thursday night by rolling past Beulah 72-29 – displaying a dominating press led by a Division I-bound athlete, balanced scoring and the look of a team seeking its third state title in the past six seasons.

Kindred improved to 21-0 with its state quarterfinal win at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center and will take on the winner of Linton-HMB and Shiloh Christian in Friday night’s semifinals.

Abby Duchscherer, who is headed to play softball at Alabama, led the Vikings with 22 points, 8 steals and 7 rebounds. And the 6-foot-1 guard was complemented by two other double-figure scorers – including eighth-grader Laela Eisenschenk, who had 11 of her 13 points in the first half.

The fact that Kindred missed the past two state tournaments after winning it all in 2019, factored in their strong start.


“It was disappointing we weren’t here the last two years,” said Duchscherer. “But we were really coachable after those two losses. Those games happen. We learned from them. We faced it head on and it feels really good to be back.”

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Kindred's Kacie Burner shoots the ball in the first half Thursday against Beulah in the ND Class B girls tournament at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Kindred led 22-7 after the first quarter and 42-11 at the break. The Vikings’ press was smothering with the “Abby has those long arms and everyone behind her is reading things as well,” said Brandt of her 6-foot-1 point guard.

Kindred forced 23 Beulah turnovers in the first half, leading to 22 points. Overall, Kindred scored 34 points off 34 Beulah turnovers.

“We were anxious,” said Kindred coach Sam Brandt of her team’s start. “It was a little extra special for these seniors. They’re on their last ride.”

Kindred won the state in 2017 and 2019. The 2022 title is now two wins away for the Vikings.

“You know, when you ask your team for all of these things and it all comes together, it makes me speechless,” said the Kindred coach.

Beulah, which dropped to 18-7, was led by Jenna Koppelsloen’s 10 points. Kinsey Zuroff added nine as the Miners shot 29 percent to Kindred’s 51 percent.

Kindred won’t be facing a stranger in Friday’s semifinal round.


The Vikings beat both Linton-HMB and Shiloh Christian earlier this season. Kindred beat Shiloh 63-52 and topped Linton-HMB 67-44.

Kindred 72, Beulah 29

Halftime: Kindred 42, Beulah 11

Beulah – Jenna Koppelsloen 10, Kinsey Zuroff 9, Harys, Beauchamp 4, Paige Miller 3, Allyson Walcker 2, Brecken Bieber 1

Kindred – Abby Duchscherer 22, Laela Eisenschenk 13, Kacie Burner 11, Terryn Johnson 9, Tina Freier 8, Charli McQuillan 4, Avery Bartels 2, Tess Rohrbeck 2

Kindred Beulah gbb2.jpg
Kindred's Peyton Gette steals the ball from Beulah's Harys Beauchamp Thursday in the opening round of the ND Class B girls basketball tournament at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Eric Hylden/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
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