Spoiler’s District 4 champs again
Grafton holds on to overcome Cavalier
For the third straight contest the difference between the Grafton Spoilers and Cavalier Tornadoes boys’ basketball teams was four points or less.
Tuesday it was Grafton’s turn to prevail and the Spoilers came away with a 54-50 win in the District 4 championship game in Grafton.
“I think we could play 50 times and it would probably be split even,” Grafton coach Riley Lillemoen said. “The Grafton-Cavalier rivalry is a good one and it’s always intense.”
The contest between the evenly match opponents was close throughout. Grafton led 14-11 after one quarter. Cavalier had a 25-22 halftime lead and the Spoilers led 39-38 after three quarters.
The difference in the game came down to a two minute run early in the fourth quarter.
After a bucket by Cavalier’s Spencer Robbins and trailing 40-39, the Spoilers scored eight consecutive points. The run started with a basket by Austin Contreras with 5:42 to go that gave the Spoilers the lead for good, 41-40.
A steal and a layup by Zak Hernandez gave the Spoilers a 43-40 advantage. Then, after a series of hustle plays, senior Matt Mendoza drained a three with 4:24 to go that gave the Spoilers a 46-40 bulge. A free throw by Garek Droog capped the run with 4:04 to go in regulation.
“We came up with a few nice hustle plays and were able to hold on,” Lillemoen said. “In games like these it comes down to who makes a few more plays when it counts.”
The cushion proved to be helpful as the Tornadoes answered with a run of their own.
With 3:04 to go, Ryan Chrest hit two-of-three free throws to cut the lead to 47-45.