Grafton meets LHMB in title gameBISMARCK — Hanna Thompson was a different player in the second half.
By: Greg DeVillers, The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK — Hanna Thompson was a different player in the second half.
After getting just five points and one rebound in the first two quarters here Friday, she finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. The senior point guard, at 5-foot-4 the Spoilers’ smallest starter, came up big as Grafton pulled away to a 62-45 win against Shiloh Christian in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class B girls high school basketball tournament.
Grafton, 25-1, will make its first appearance in the Class B girls basketball championship game tonight, when it plays Linton-HMB at approximately 8 p.m. Linton-HMB defeated Beach 47-30 in the semifinals.
“Holy — that’s crazy,” Thompson said of her second-half performance of 13 points and nine rebounds. So what happened? “Just a little more drive. I’m a senior. I wanted to get (to the state championship) so bad. It had to be done.”
Grafton led only 31-27 at halftime. But the Spoilers expanded that lead to 46-35 after three. In the first 77 seconds of the second half, Thompson had four free throws and a steal.
In the fourth quarter, the Spoilers put the game away with a big finish, closing the game on a 14-4 run with Thompson getting seven of those points.
“Hanna loves big games,” Grafton coach Laurie Sieben said. “She plays her best in big games. We tell her to take what games give you. She was very aggressive.
“When they started to put pressure on, we felt comfortable with the ball in Hanna’s hand.”
Pressure was a big factor in the Spoilers’ favor.
Sieben called the forced turnovers huge. “It gets us into a flow. Anytime we can create offense off our defense, for us, that gets the confidence up.”
DeSautel added 10 points for the balanced Spoilers, who had six players with seven or more points.
Paige Emmel had 12 points and Forness 11 to lead Shiloh Christian. But the leader in this game was Thompson.
“Determination,” Sieben said. “She wasn’t going to be denied.”
G 15 31 46 62
SC 14 27 35 45
G: Hanna Thompson 18, Samantha DeSautel 10, Brooke Gaustad 8, Alyson McMartin 8, Cassie Thompson 8, Brooke Feltman 7, Allison Burns 3.
SC: Paige Emmel 12, Mikayla Forness 11, Kelly Schindler 6, Regan Watson 6, Abby Muggerud 4, Beth Muggerud 4, Brenna Jessen 2.
3-pointers: G 2 (Gaustad, Burns), SC 1 (Emmel 1). Total fouls: G 19, SC 21. Fouled out: SC, Forness. Rebounds: G 56 (C. Thompson 10, H. Thompson 10), SC 37 (Schlinder 10). Assists: G 9 (Megan Jiskra 3, H. Thompson 3), SC 6 (Schindler 2, Emmel 2). Steals: G 13 (H. Thompson 4), SC 8 (three with 2). Blocks: G 4 (four with 1), SC 4 (A. Muggerud 4). Turnovers: G 19, SC 29.
DeVillers is a sports reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.