Spoilers shake off slow start against H-N
Grafton shoots 53 percent from field
Despite a slow start, the Grafton Spoilers advanced on to the semifinals of the Region 2 Girl’s Basketball Tournament with a 74-31 win over the Hatton-Northwood Thunder Monday in first round action.
The Spoilers came into the tournament as the number one seed in District 4 and the Thunder came in as the number four seed from District 3.
Both teams started cold from the field. The first basket came from Grafton’s Ali Burns at the 6:04 mark of the first quarter and the Spoilers reeled off 11 more points to take a 13-0 lead in the contest.
“I liked our composure when some of those shots weren’t falling,” Grafton coach Laurie Sieben said. “I liked our defensive readiness, we made sure they had to work for every shot.”
H-N came back to close the gap and trailed 19-8 after the the first quarter.
Grafton’s defense fueled their offense in the second and third quarters as the Spoilers outscored the Thunder 25-7 and 17-4 respectively, on the way to the 43-point victory.
“I thought we played good position defense,” Sieben said. “That gave us the opportunity for some good offensive chances and I thought our girls did a good job of sharing the ball offensively.”
Cassie Thompson led all scorers with 25 points, followed by Brooke Feltman with 15. Burns added eight for the Spoilers, followed by Nicole Christinson and Jessica Burns with seven points each, Emma Suda with five, Megan Jiskra, Lexi Lee and Kayla Dvorak with two points each and Jillian Hanson with one.
McKenzie Bye led Hatton-Northwood with nine points, followed by Ashley Hillebrand with seven.
For the game, Grafton shot 30-for-59 from the field, good for 53 perecnt. That included a 5-for-8 performance from beyond the three-point line (60 percent).
The Spoilers shot 9-for-13 from the free-throw line. That included an 8-for-12 performance from the charity stripe in the first half.
The Spoilers won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding the Thunder 32-19. The Spoilers forced 21 turnovers, while giving the ball away only six times.
Grafton’s defense was reflected in the Thunder’s shooting performance. H-N finished the game shooting 9-for-31 from the field, good for 27 percent.
The Thunder did a little better at the free-throw line, going 9-for-13, good for 69 percent.
The loss ended H-N’s season at 5-16. The Spoilers improved to 18-5 and advanced to the Region 2 semifinals against Hillsboro-Central Valley.
Grafton coach Laurie Sieben said it was good for the Spoilers to get a game under their belt and was looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“There are some great teams ahead of us and we’ve got to be able to execute offensively,” she said. “But defensively we need to make teams work for every shot.”