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Kindred caps unbeaten season with win against defending champion Grafton in Class B state title game

Abby Duchscherer finished with 25 points en route to Tournament MVP honors.

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The Kindred Vikings celebrate their perfect season as they hoist the ND Class B Girls basketball championship Saturday, March 5, 2022, after defeating Grafton.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — Abby Duchscherer's high school basketball career ended fittingly Saturday night at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Senior athlete of the year. Tournament MVP. Undefeated state champion.

The 6-foot-1 Kindred guard had 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Vikings to a 64-40 win over Grafton in the North Dakota state Class B girls basketball tournament championship game.

"What an amazing way to go out," Duchscherer said. "I'm so proud of all my teammates and coaches. I'm beyond thankful and blessed to go out this way."

Kindred, which ended the year 23-0, won a third state title in six years.

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The 24-point margin of victory was the state's largest in the championship game since 1991 when Washburn beat Midkota 87-53.

The Vikings closed the game on a 14-0 run and outscored the Spoilers 20-6 in the fourth quarter.

"Going out with a bang here," Kindred coach Sam Brandt said. "They had a 14-0 run. Who can say that in a championship game, especially against a really good Grafton team?"

Duchscherer scored at least 22 points in all three state tournament games. She was joined in double figures by senior Terryn Johnson, who had 21 points and eight rebounds and shot 9-for-12 from the field. Kindred's Kacie Burner added 11 points.

"Only one team gets to end with a win," Brandt said. "These kids not only end with a win but also a perfect season. They'll remember this for the rest of their lives and hopefully be able to use that to be young confident women with whatever they do."

Grafton, the tournament's No. 2 seed and defending state champions, was led by Walker Demers' 12 points and nine rebounds.

Grafton's Ainsley McLain (11 points) and Reagan Hanson (10 points) also finished in double figures.

The Spoilers started the fourth quarter with one of their best chances to put a scare into Kindred late.

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Demers hit a free throw to cut the lead to nine points in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

But Kindred's 5-foot-3 Peyton Gette made a steal in the backcourt and finished off the turnover for points, while Burner scored on a backdoor cut from Duchscherer as the lead ballooned back out to 13 with six minutes remaining.

Grafton had 13 turnovers to Kindred's six.

"They rattled us a little bit offensively, and we were rushing and playing uncomfortable," said Grafton coach Laurie Sieben, whose team played in three straight state title games. "It's just their time. They're on a mission. It wasn't for a lack of effort from our girls. I'm super proud of them getting back to this game. It's not the outcome we wanted but against a team like Kindred we had to score with them and we didn't get in the offensive flow we needed to."

Kindred 64,
Grafton 40
Halftime: Kindred 31, Grafton 22
Kindred — Abby Duchscherer 25, Terryn Johnson 21, Kacie Burner 11, Peyton Gette 4, Tina Freier 3
Grafton — Walker Demers 12, Ainsley McLain 11, Reagan Hanson 10, Keira Cole 4, Jade Moe 3

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Grafton's Ainsley McLain gets a hand up as Kindred's Terryn Johnson shoots in the second half Saturday of the ND Class B girls basketball championship game.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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Grafton's Walker Demers looks to pass the ball as Kindred's Terryn Johnson and Abby Duchscherer defend.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
Kindred Grafton gbb2.jpg
Kindred's Abby Duchscherer and Kacie Burner celebrate a run against Grafton in the ND Class B girls basketball championship Saturday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Related Topics: NDHSAA
Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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