SHELDON - The dream season came to an abrupt close Tuesday night for the Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire Titans, as they bowed out of the post-season in a 49-61 loss to Boyden-Hull. The Class 1A District semi-final loss ends the Titans' campaign with a mark of 17 wins against five losses, and a 9-1 mark in the final season of Cornbelt Conference play.
After a thrilling, one-point win in the District quarter-final game Saturday night, the Titans had little time to rest up going into Tuesday's matchup with Boyden-Hull.
The contest started with the Titans taking an early 8-3 lead in the first few minutes of the game at Sheldon, but then Boyden-Hull found their footing and began to reel the Titans in. However, GT/RA would go on to take a 16-12 advantage to end the first quarter of play.
BLOCKED - Noah Stukey goes up for a jumper only to have Boyden-Hull’s Dalton Moser block the shot in Tuesday’s District semi-final in Sheldon. Despite the block, Stukey scored five points for GT/RA in the season-ending loss. -- Dan Voigt photo
Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven -Ayrshire would continue to lead the game into the second quarter, as both clubs were able to match bucket for bucket, but midway through the quarter, the shooting touch for the Titans began to cool, much like the north winds outside.
Boyden-Hull would take advantage of the Titans' shooting slump, and coupled with a pressure defense that forced several steals and turnovers, would allow the Comets to take the lead and edge out to a 31-25 lead at the end of the first half.
The Titans showed no panic as they came out to start the second half of play and quickly tied the game up at 35-35, but Boyden-Hull would answer and soon edged out to a 10-point advantage as the Titans' continued to struggle with their shots.
Starting the final quarter trailing by 10 at 42-52, Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire would try their hardest to battle back into the contest, but fouls came into play as Mason McGrauth would foul out and Andy Geelan and Connor Sturgill both played the final period with four fouls. The Comets would hit free throws down the stretch, and cold shooting would combine to stymie the Titans as Boyden-Hull gradually pulled away to take the 61-49 final margin of victory as the final horn sounded, ending the season of dreams for the Titans.
For the final contest of the season, Andy Geelan would lead GT/RA with 17 points on the night, while Connor Sturgill added 15 tallies to the effort.
After that, Noah Stukey would come away with five points for the Titans, while Mason McGrauth added four points before fouling out in the final quarter of play.
Lane Reiman would score three points for the Titans, as did Jared Sikora off the bench, and Taylor Enderson rounded out the effort with two points.
"The boys played hard against a very good Boyden-Hull team,"?noted Titan Head Coach Randy Hough. "We had some trouble getting our shots against their defense and we committed some turnovers that hurt us. I'm proud of these kids and how they played and never gave up."