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Greg DeVillers / Forum Communications Co., Published March 16 2012

Spoilers win Class B girls semifinals matchup against Shiloh Christian

BISMARCK – Hanna Thompson was a different player in the second half.

After getting just five points and one rebound in the first two quarters on Friday, she finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The senior point guard was the spark plug as Grafton pulled away to a

62-45 win against Shiloh Christian in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class B state girls basketball tournament.

“Holy – that’s crazy,” Thompson said of the second-half performance.

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 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 closed 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.

Grafton shot only 31 percent from the field compared to Shiloh Christian’s 34.7 percent. But the Spoilers held a 56-37 rebounding advantage and forced 29 turnovers, 10 more than they committed. As a result, Grafton had a lot more scoring opportunities – 22 of 71 from the field compared to Shiloh Christian’s 17 of 49.

“We usually cause a lot of turnovers,” Thompson said. “We get extra possessions to score and get ahead by more.”

Grafton, down 10-4 to start the game, closed the first half on a 6-2 run, going ahead to stay on an Alison Burns trey. The Spoilers led 31-27 at intermission and were up 35-31 when the Skyhawks’ Mikayla Forness scored a basket 1:50 into the second half.

But the Spoilers went on a 9-0 run, five of the points by Samantha DeSautel. Grafton held Shiloh Christian scoreless for 3:45, at one point forcing turnovers on five straight Skyhawk possessions.

Grafton 15 31 46 62

Shiloh Christian 14 27 35 45

G: Thompson 18, DeSautel 10, Gaustad 8, McMartin 8, Thompson 8, Feltman 7, Burns 3. Totals 22-71 16-27 62.

SC: Emmel 12, Forness 11, Schindler 6, Watson 6, Muggerud 4, Muggerud 4, Jessen 2. 17-49 10-17 45.

3-pointers: Gaustad Burns, 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). Turnovers: G 19, SC 29.

DeVillers writes for the Grand Forks Herald