WATCH: Third ranked Grafton upsets top ranked Thompson

11-1 Spoilers hand Tommies first loss of the season.

Grafton knocks off unbeaten Thompson, 51-42
A packed gym at Thompson High School saw the top ranked Tommies fall to third ranked Grafton, 51-42. (WDAY-TV)

THOMPSON, N.D -- As Thompson's defense went on a roll, Laurie Sieben felt a little nervous on the Grafton bench Tuesday.

The Tommies converted turnovers into six unanswered points, capping an 8-0 run that pulled them within 42-40 in a matchup of two of the top-ranked North Dakota Class B high school girls basketball teams.

"I was concerned,'' Sieben, the Grafton coach, said. "We haven't had a lot of those (turnover spurts). Give credit to Thompson. They had us on our heels. But our girls didn't panic. They kept their composure.''

Grafton answered Thompson's fourth-quarter run with a game-closing spurt of seven unanswered points, lifting the third-ranked Spoilers to a 51-42 win over the No. 1-ranked and previously unbeaten Tommies.

Grafton scored two layups to start the fourth quarter and extend its lead to 42-32 before the Tommies' defense made its presence felt. When Carrie Nistler hit a jump shot from the free-throw line, the Tommies were within 42-40, the closest they'd been since early in the second quarter.


"I wasn't nervous,'' Grafton sophomore guard Carlee Sieben said. "We just had to keep our composure. And we'd kept it through most of the game.''

After the teams swapped baskets, Anna Carignan got the key basket. After Sieben missed from the perimeter, Carignan grabbed the offensive rebound and missed, Meredith Dumas missed on her putback attempt and Carignan grabbed another rebound and scored with 1:20 left to start the Spoilers on their game-closing spurt.

"That was just a muscle play by Anna,'' Laurie Sieben said. "That was a huge, gutsy play. She was active around the basket. It was a momentum changer, one we needed.''

Said Thompson coach Jason Brend: "We were able to put some defensive pressure on, force some turnovers and get some momentum. If we don't give up that offensive-rebound basket, we put ourselves in a chance to go down and tie or go ahead. That was a back breaker.''

Grafton put itself in position to win with two big runs. The Spoilers started the second quarter on an 11-0 run to go ahead 23-15, a lead they never relinquished. A 7-0 spurt to start the second half extended the Grafton lead to 34-22.

"We didn't shoot as well as we would have liked,'' Brend said. "But that was on their defense. They took away our driving lanes and we didn't get a lot of good looks.''

Carlee Sieben's 13 points led the 11-1 Spoilers, with Julia Dusek adding 11 points and Cassie Sieben 10.


Thompson, 12-1, received a game-high 21 points from Macy Jordheim.

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