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District 11 Boys Basketball: Titans fall in tourney

By Staff | Mar 6, 2015

Lori Gronvold/PCT TGU’s Eli Luna (left) goes up for a shot against Cordell Volson of the Drake-Anamoose Raiders.

The TGU Titans were the No. 2-seed in the District 11 Boys Basketball tournament, which wrapped up earlier this week.

But a second seed didn’t guarantee a spot at the regional tournament in Minot as they fell, 66-63, to the Bottineau Braves on Monday.

The Titans had a chance at a championship berth on Saturday, as they went on to face Drake-Anamoose. The Raiders prevailed, 60-50.

According to head coach Doug Martin, the Raiders had previously been plagued by four on their roster sitting out for six weeks due to injuries, and by their field goal percentages.

But that night, the Raiders took the lead, opening with a huge three from sophomore Brett Filler. The first points for the Titans then came when senior Eli Luna passed to Kolter Schell after forcing a turnover.

The Raiders defense was able to limit the Titans to low scoring first and second quarters both at nine points each and upheld a 31-18 lead to end the half. The Titans came alive in the third, with Luna, senior Colter Thorp and junior Evan Burckhard each putting up a three, while both Schell and Thorp were able to get inside.

While both teams were capable from outside, the Raiders had a height advantage.

“We pretty much looked to Lee Reinowski for outside shooting and for (Cordell) Volson to get inside,” Martin said.

The Titans were looking to shut down Volson, a 6-6 junior. However it was Reinowski, a 6-2 junior, who led the way in scoring with 21 points on the evening for the Raiders.

“We penetrated, we attacked the basket but just not enough,” TGU coach Mike Corum said. “Drake’s a good team, they played really well.”

Other score leaders for the Raiders included Pete Buri, whose nine points all came from outside; Austin Schatz 8, Filler 7 and Trey Windish 7.

Luna led in scoring for the Titans, scoring 13 of his 23 points in the 4th quarter. Also scoring for the Titans were Thorp 8, Taylor Bailey 6, Burckhard 3 and Cole Bethke 2.

OVERTIME WIN VS SIOUX

The Titans were able to eek out a win, albeit an ugly one, 59-58 in overtime, in the first round of tournament play.

Titans sophomore Cole Bethke put up a layup in the final seconds in a game that could’ve gone either way against the Westhope-Newburg Sioux. Sioux freshman AJ Jiles had tied the game with two shots at the line.

“(Bethke)’s always done well under pressure,” Corum said. “I was very proud of his play off the bench. He really was a key factor in our taking it into overtime and then of course he made the game winner, which I was glad it was him.”

The Titans took command of the game in the first quarter with a huge three-pointer from senior Colter Thorp, and senior Eli Luna scoring eight points – two from the free throw line. The defense was able to hold the Sioux to only eight points at the end of the first quarter and 10 in the second, but Westhope would show signs of resurgence after the half.

The Sioux had their first lead of the night in the third quarter, with senior Chance Kitzman and freshman Tate Wyman leading the way. Their hold on the lead was tenuous, and the 4th quarter ended in a 48-48 tie.

Luna led in scoring for the Titans with 20 points on the night, Bethke scored 13, Thorp 7, Kolter Schell 6, Evan Burckhard 5, Taylor Bailey 4, Lane Schmitt 2 and Parker Kramer 2.

“It was different throughout the game, and that was nice. It was nice to rely on different people,” Corum said. “Our seniors started it off real well, and our sophomores ended it real well. We got solid play from our juniors and throughout different times.”

For the Sioux, Kitzman led with 27 points, Wyman scored 15, Chase Conway 10, Jiles 2, Reese Schell 2 and Dawson Dunham 2.

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