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Spoilers use fourth quarter to defeat Grafton

BISMARCK -- Hanna Thompson was simply reacting to the crowd.

The senior hit a 3-point shot as the shot clock was expiring, igniting a 7-0 Grafton start in the final quarter. That run helped the Spoilers pull away to a 58-49 win against Lakota/Adams-Edmore here Thursday in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B girls high school basketball tournament.

Grafton led 43-39 after three quarters and had possession to start the fourth. With the shot clock winding down, Thompson got the ball at the top of the key, turned and hurriedly threw up a 25-footer just before the buzzer sounded.

"I heard people in the stands screaming the numbers (seconds left) and figured somebody better shoot," Thompson said. "I threw it up and hoped for the best. I was a little surprised when it went in. But it worked for me."

And for the Spoilers. Grafton then turned back-to-back L/A-E turnovers into two Alyson McMartin free throws and a layup by Samantha DeSautel, the latter giving the Spoilers a 50-39 lead with 5:10 remaining. Lakota/Adams-Edmore got no closer than nine the rest of the way.

"That three really took the wind out of us," Raiders coach Jonathan Berg said. "We felt we were playing tough defense. She was so far behind the (3-point line). To work that hard on defense and then have them launch one like that, it really takes it out of you."

Thompson finished with 14 points to share team scoring honors with DeSautel in the balanced Spoilers offense.

"That shot by Hanna was a big one for momentum," Grafton coach Laurie Sieben said. "And that was one of Samantha's best games of the season. She was assertive. She made things happen."

Early on, it was Lakota/Adams-Edmore's Fallyn Freije who made things happen. The 5-foot-11 freshman center had a strong all-around game, finishing with 25 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks and four assists. She had 14 points in a first quarter that ending with the Raiders leading 20-19. "Fallyn's good," Berg said. "She put more on her shoulders tonight."

But Grafton's defense tightened on Freije over the final three quarters. The trio of McMartin, Cassie Thompson and backup Brooke Feltman took turns defending her man-to-man, with backside help.

"She's probably the best (post player) we've played so far this year," McMartin said. "It was kind of a reality check in the first quarter. We knew we had to play better as a team. We helped each other better on the weak side after that. We just had to adjust."

The Spoilers' defense allowed just four points in the second quarter, which ended with Grafton leading 31-25. Grafton twice built 10-point leads in the third quarter, but the Raiders closed on a 6-0 run in the final 1:19 of the third to pull within 43-39. However, the Raiders didn't have an answer to Grafton's spurt to start the final quarter.

"I think our balance and depth won out," Sieben said. "Fallyn is good; she has all the tools. But Alyson is a physical defender. She wears people down. Then Brooke came in off the bench and did a nice job, and Cassie did a good job on the weak side. And we did better away from the basket. We needed to be more aggressive in the full court, and I think we did that in the second half."

Grafton, 25-1, meets Shiloh Christian in a 6:30 semifinal game tonight. Lakota/Adams-Edmore, 21-5, plays New Town at 1 p.m. in the consolation semifinals.

LAE 20 25 39 49

Grafton 19 31 43 58

LAE: Erica Anderson 3 0-1 6, Mary Haman 0 0-2 0, Raevyn Pesek 0 0-0 0, Katie Hoime 1 0-0 2, Holli Lee 3 0-0 6, Ashtin Freije 5 0-0 10, Fallyn Freije 10 5-7 25.

G: Megan Jiskra 0 0-0 0, Samantha DeSautel 4 5-5 14, Hanna Thompson 6 0-2 14, Brooke Gaustad 1 1-2 4, Alyson McMartin 3 3-4 9, Cassie Thompson 2 4-6 8, Allison Burns 1 0-0 3, Brooke Feltman 3 0-0 6.

3-pointers: G 5 (H. Thompson 2, DeSautel 1, Gaustad 1, Burns 1). Free throws: LAE 5-10, G 13-19. Total fouls: LAE 16, G 13. Rebounds: LAE 31 (F. Freije 15), G 34 (C. Thompson 8, Feltman 8). Assists: LAE 15 (Lee 4, A. Freije 4, F. Freije 4), G 10 (Gaustad 5). Steals: LAE 13 (four with 3), G 9 (Gaustad 3, C. Thompson 3). Blocks: LAE 4 (F. Freije 4), G 3 (DeSautel 2).

DeVillers is a sports reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.