Indians take control in second half, beat Spoilers 80-53.

FORT TOTTEN — There was a two minute stretch during the second quarter of the North Dakota High School Activities Association Class B boys basketball game between Four Winds/Minnewaukan and Grafton when things got a little tight.

On the flip side, it got a little out of hand in the second half.

Sparked by Jayden Yankton’s 14 second half points, the Indians scored 46 points over the final 16 minutes to turn a nine point halftime lead into an 80-53 victory over the Spoilers Saturday evening in the season opener for both teams.

Yankton finished with 18 points.

“I knew we were going to be a little sloppy. Usually first games of the year are,” said Indians head coach Rick Smith. “In the first half, when it looked like we were going to go on a run, we miss a layup or something simple and then we let them make an easy basket and that’s the way it usually works.

“So every time it seemed that we were about to go on run, we let them back in.”

The Indians led 18-9 after the first quarter but struggled to separate in the second. Up 22-14 with 4:27 remaining until halftime, Grafton cut the deficit to two at 26-24 with 1:46 left after a three-pointer by Justin Garza. The Indians ended the half on an 8-1 run.

“We talked at halftime. I told them that we need to sure some things up and get it to the big guy (Bronson Walter) a little bit more. [When he touches] the ball, he’s going to give our guards better shots,” Smith said.

And it worked. Walter scored on the Indians first possession out of the locker room and it freed the Indians shooters. Of the eight threes made by the Indians in the game, seven came in the second half. Three by Yankton and two by Jaymison Jackson respectively. When the dust settled, the Indians led by 18 after three periods.

“I thought our bench was key. Jackson, Jay Garcia, Johnny Redfox, Caelen Lohnes all gave us valuable minutes when the starters weren’t clicking right away and then the starters got into a grove,” Smith said.

JaeShaun Shaw did his damage in the first half, scoring 12 across the first two quarters. He finished with 16 points. Doug Yankton added 10.

The Spoilers got 13 points from Beau Feltman and last season’s second team all-state Dalton Albrecht was held to just eight.

Chris Harris can be reached at charris@devilslakejournal.com and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ

Grafton at Four Winds/Minnewaukan box

GRAFTON (53)

Feltman 13, D. Albrecht 8, J. Garza 8, Mecham 8, S. Garza 7, Lopez 4, Kern 3, B. Albrecht 1, Lehfeldt 1. Totals 17 16-26 53.

FOUR WINDS/MINNEWAUKAN (80)

J. Yankton 18, Shaw 16, Jackson 14, D. Yankton 12, Walter 10, Garcia 4, Lohnes 4, R. Yankton 3. Totals 33 7-8 80.

Grafton 9 16 13 15 _ 53

Four Winds/M 18 16 22 24 _ 80