Raiders Advance To District Title Game
ARMSTRONG – Ruthven-Ayrshire’s Raiders are two games from the state tournament following a blowout 78-53 win over Twin River Valley Tuesday night. The district semi-final win over the Thunder propels the Raiders into a Class 1A District Championship game tonight (Thursday, Feb. 21), at 7 p.m. at Emmetsburg.
Should the Raiders earn the district title, they would play in a 1A Substate game Saturday night in Spencer.
Despite a near ground blizzard outside, the Raiders were red-hot as they started Tuesday’s game. Ruthven-Ayrshire simply couldn’t seem to miss as they roared out to a 28-2 lead over the Thunder at the end of the first quarter. That 26 points was as close at Twin River Valley would get to the Raiders in the rest of the contest.
Ruthven-Ayrshire used patient offense with good ball movement to account for a majority of their scoring, but also presented an outside threat as well, knocking down several long shots from just inside the arc to keep Twin River Valley off balance. At the end of the first half, the Raiders held a 30 point, 35-15 advantage.
The margin grew to 41 points at one time during the third quarter before Ruthven-Ayrshire took a 43 point, 43-29 lead at the end of the third frame.
In the final quarter, Ruthven-Ayrshire Head Coach Randy Hough brought his bench into the game to finish out the contest. The reserves did their part to finish out the contest with the 87-53 final score.
For Ruthven-Ayrshire, Tyler Enderson led the scoring with 19 points, while Andy Rowlands added 15 points. Carl Jensen came up with 12 points, while Brett Geelan and Cody Zielstra both scored nine points. Ryan Sikora and Ryan Hoffman both added eight points and Al Japenga capped off the scoring with seven points.
Defensively, Andy Rowlands completed the double-double with 13 rebounds to go with his 15 points. Ryan Sikora battled for eight boards and dished out five assists along with Cody Zielstra, while Brad Geelan handed out seven helpers.
“Once again, balanced scoring was the key to our victory,” noted RA Head Coach Randy Hough. “We opened the game very aggresively on defense and really attacked the basket on offense. “