Titans dominate Wolverines, advance in playoffs

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
GT/RA junior Anna Sorenson battles for a rebound in the Titans' 32-point win over West Bend-Mallard on Thursday.

Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire dominated West Bend-Mallard from start to finish Thursday night in the opening round of the Class 1A girls regional basketball tournament in West Bend.

The Titans got out to a slim lead through one quarter of play, but shut the Wolverines down completely in the final three quarters, holding the hosts to just 14 points the rest of the way in a 57-25 beatdown.

"I thought it was an okay game for us," GT/RA coach Todd Hough said. "We came out a little sluggish, I thought. But we made some baskets there to get us going a little bit in the second quarter. The second half, I thought our defense was a little bit better. We were just one step slow, I thought, in the first half on defense. We have some coughs and stuff like that going around with our girls, so I think some of them got winded a little bit quicker than normal because of that. We came  in here, we got a win, that's what we wanted to do and we're moving onto the next round. Right now, that's all that matters."

GT/RA sophomore Emma Heinrichs looks to drive against the West Bend-Mallard defense.

The Titans led 15-11 after one quarter of play, helped by a pair of jumpers from sophomore Kylea Fehr who came off the bench to lead the Titans with 11 points on the night.

"That was good to see her come in and knock a few shots down early," Hough said. "That always helps when your first couple go in. She came off the bench and she had a nice game for us."

GT/RA outscored West Bend-Mallard 20-3 in the second quarter to lead 35-14 at the half. The defense remained stingy in the third quarter, as the Titans outscored the Wolverines 19-5 before cruising to the 32-point win in the final stanza.

GT/RA sophomore Toni Alesch rises up for two points in the Titans' playoff win over the Wolverines.

The Titans allowed just four Wolverine field goals in the second, third and fourth quarters combined.

"That's kind of been what we've leaned on all year," Hough said of the Titans' defense. "That's what you want to do because there's going to be nights where your shots aren't falling. I thought the girls did a good job of picking the defense up a little bit. They were getting a few easy baskets where we our rotations weren't as quick as they needed to be, but I thought we adjusted after that and we did a much better job the rest of the game."

Junior Toni Alesch joined Fehr in double digits with 10 points. She also had four steals, two blocks and three rebounds. Sophomore Emma Heinrichs had nine points. Junior Madison Norris had five points, seven assists, six rebounds and a steal. Junior Taylor Park had three steals. Junior Anna Sorenson and freshman Madison Hough had seven points each. Senior Emma Feldhacker had four blocks.

With the win, the Titans advanced to face Bishop Garrigan in Algona on Tuesday.

"I would say they are a similar team to us," Coach Hough said of Bishop Garrigan. "They have a really good point guard who scores a lot of points for them. They're mainly guard-oriented. They do have a big girl on the inside too, but they try to let their guards do a lot of the work for them. I know that point guard is really good at handling the ball, so we'll have to do a good job of trying to keep her out of the paint. She can really shoot the three too, so we're going to have to do a good job of boxing out, executing and making some baskets here in round two."

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