Titans top Pioneers in intra-county clash
It took three overtimes to decide a winner Monday night, as Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire blew a 16-point first-quarter lead to Okoboji only to pull away for an 80-75 win in Milford.
The Titans jumped out to a 21-5 lead after one quarter of play due in large part to seven Okoboji turnovers, but the Pioneers gathered themselves and eventually knotted it up at the end of regulation.
With 4:44 remaining in the fourth quarter, Okoboji's Jamison Helmers scored on a layup to make it a one-point game. Three straight buckets by GT/RA junior Jacob Conlon — who finished with a game-high 42 points — pushed the TItans' lead to 51-44, but the Pioneers again cut into the deficit, as senior Bryce Peter scored on a putback before knocking down a three-pointer to pull within four at 53-49.
Back-to-back buckets by Okoboji sophomore Kip Hurd made it a 56-53 game before a three-pointer by Peter knotted it once more at 56-56.
GT/RA's Eric Sundall answered to put the Titans up two briefly before Peter scored on a a fastbreak layup to knot it at 58-58 with 45 seconds left. Sundall had two chances at the free throw line to give his team the lead with 20 second remaining, but both attempts missed their mark and Okoboji returned the favor by missing on a shot as time expired to send it into overtime, where they scored just two points each to go into a second overtime knotted at 60-60.
There, the Pioneers had a chance to seal the win with a defensive stop, but Conlon scored on a layup to tie it at 70-70 and force a third overtime, where the Titans outscored the Pioneers 10-5 to seal the win.
"We just weren't ready to take care of the basketball in the first quarter," Okoboji coach Ryan Paulsen said. "We got down in such a big hole. Being down 21-5 with seven turnovers in the first quarter is just not gonna cut it. Credit to our guys. We just kept closing the gap. We attacked the basket well. We got some stops and were able to just keep chipping away. We had some opportunities at the end of the first and second overtimes to execute on one possession. Those are just little things that we need to work on and practice with some situational stuff. When you get into those situations, you want to be able to close them out and get a win. I love how hard our guys played. We just competed until we absolutely had nothing left. Credit to GT/RA for making a few more plays than we did."
Conlon tacked on 11 rebounds, five assists and a steal for the Titans. Sophomore Tom Geelan had 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and a steal. Chris Conlon had nine points. Sundall had six points, six rebounds four assists, a steal and a block. Sam Skattebo had four points and four rebounds for the Titans, who improved to 2-3 overall on the season.
Okoboji's statistics were not made available.
The loss dropped the Pioneers' record to 0-5 overall on the season.