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Forum staff reports, Published March 03 2012

Grafton tops Central Cass in Class B fifth-place game

GRAND FORKS – It’s never too late to adjust.

Grafton closed its boys basketball season with a rare switch from a man-to-man defense to a zone. The maneuver paid off as the Spoilers rallied to beat Central Cass 71-57 in the consolation championship of the North Dakota Class B boys high school basketball tournament.

“It’s probably only the fourth time we’ve played zone all year, and one of those was sort of for a practice at it,” Spoilers coach Mike Hanson said. “But they were penetrating so well and getting good looks. We wanted to switch things up. We had to make an adjustment, (Central Cass guard Ellery) Bresnahan is so quick.”

Central Cass poured in 41 points in the first half to lead by six. The Squirrels managed only 16 points in the second half after Grafton went to its zone early in the third quarter.

The Squirrels were still even at 55 when Bresnahan hit a free throw with 4:09 left. But Grafton responded with the next 14 points and a game-closing 16-2 run.

“I think both teams were pretty fatigued,” Grafton senior Jake Hanson said. “That first half was a fast pace. Maybe we had a little more juice left. We put it together at the end.”

Garek Droog’s basket gave Grafton the lead for good at 57-55. Jake Hanson had six points in the closing spurt, while Austin Contreras had four points and a steal that led to a layup.

Hanson finished with a game-high 22 points. Nic Lundquist had 13, Adam Jiskra and Contreras 10 each and Droog scored nine.

“Contreras gave us good energy off the bench,” Mike Hanson said. “He did a great job. And Garek played well off the bench, too.”

Central Cass received 17 points from Matt Zimmerman and 12 from Bresnahan. The Squirrels were 15 of 27 from the field in the first half – they connected on 4 of their 25 field-goal attempts in the second half.

“We had lulls in our offense,” Central Cass coach Troy Roesler said. “Usually we play our way out of it when that happens. But give Grafton credit, they kept coming at us. And we had good looks. But we shot 16 percent in the second half; you can’t beat anybody shooting like that.”

G 17 35 47 71

CC 22 41 51 57

GRAFTON: Hanson 22, Lundquist 13, Contreras 10, Jiskra 10, Droog 9, Burns 4, Houdek 2, Villarreal 1.

CENTRAL CASS: Zimmerman 17, Bresnahan 12, Roesler 9, Sundquist 8, Lubbers 6, Ueland 3, Larson 1, Rieniets 1.

Linton-HMB 68,

Divide County 43

Tanner Purintun is the only player to average at least 20 points a game for Linton-HMB in the 30 years Dan Carr has coached the Lions. Purintun went out with a bang in the seventh-place game.

The senior guard poured in 32 points to lead Linton to the win. He also grabbed nine rebounds and four steals.

Linton-HMB got off to a fast start, leading 17-7 after one quarter, and built its advantage to 33-16 at halftime and 53-31 after three.

Andreas Holm had a big game for Divide County with 25 points and 17 rebounds.

L-HMB 17 33 53 68

DC 7 16 31 43

LINTON-HMB: Purintun 32, Sehn 8, Dralle 8, Ryckman 4, Humann 4, Small 4, Wieser 3, Flyberg 3, Schneider 2.

DIVIDE COUNTY: Holm 25, Feil 8, Wigginton 5, Jacobs 5