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Ruthven-Ayrshire Raiders Playing Well As Season Progresses

By Staff | Feb 3, 2009

RAIDER BOYS?- Ruthven-Ayrshire’s Raiders are in the thick of the Cornbelt Conference boys race with a 13-2 mark after Friday’s win over West Bend-Mallard. The Raiders are, nkeeling from left to right: Zach Loring, Cody Zielstra, Brad Geelan, Alan Japenga, Trevin enderson and Mark Langner, In back, from left to right: Coach Randy Hough, Mark Geelan, Shawn Molitor, Kyle Simington, Carl Jensen, Ryan Sikora and Colten Bakken. -- photo courtesy John Clouse

RUTHVEN – The Raiders of Ruthven-Ayrshire have racked up an impressive mark of 13-2 as the roundball season begins to focus on the post-season. In the past few weeks, the Raiders have picked up six wins against one setback since January 13.

On Jan. 13, the Raiders collected a 49-40 win over Harris-Lake Park at Lake Park. A 12 point performance by Brad Geelan paced the effort for Coach Randy Hough’s Raiders.

Carl Jensen would follow with nine points, while Ryan Sikora and Mark Geelan both came away with eight points. Cody Zielstra scored six points and Alan Japenga added five, with Kyle Simington chipping in a free throw to the effort.

Ryan Sikora snagged eight rebounds in the win, while Alan Japenga dished out four assists.

On Jan. 16, the Raiders handed Corwith-Wesley-LuVerne a 56-49 defeat at Corwith. Alan Japenga would hold the hot hand in the contest, scoring 22 points in the winning effort. Brad Geelan added 11 points, while Carl Jensen and Mark Geelan both came away with six points. Kyle Simington scored five points, Trevin Enderson added four tallies and Ryan Sikora rounded out the effort with two points, but pulled down five rebounds to lead the Raiders. Brad Geelan was very unselfish as he dished out five assists to his teammates in the win.

An old rivalry had another chapter written in a long history on Jan. 17 when the Raiders traveled to Graettinger to defeat Graettinger/Terril by a 54-39 margin. Brad Geelan led the scoring efforts with 17 points on the night, while Mark Geelan added nine points while Ryan Sikora and Carl Jensen both chipped in eight markers each. Cody Zielstra made five points, while Kyle Simington added four points and Alan Japenga came up with three tallies.

Defensively, the Raiders cog six rebounds from Mark Geelan and five boards from Alan Japenga, with Brad Geelan pulling down four boards. Brad Geelan dished out four assists and made four steals in a solid all-around game for the Raiders.

Ruthven-Ayrshire would return home on the 19th to host West Bend-Mallard and came up with another satisfying in-county win, defeating the Wolverines 71-52.

Balanced scoring was the rule, rather than the exception in the game, as five Raiders scored in double figures. Alan Japenga led the assault with 18 points, while Mark Geelan hit the cords for 14 points. Brad Geelan tallied 13 points with Ryan Sikora adding a dozen tallies and Carl Jensen scoring 11 points. Colton Bakken added two points off the bench and Shawn Molitor came away with a free throw.

Ryan Sikora had the glass spotless, pulling down 15 rebounds against the Wolverines, while Alan Japenga came away with nine boards in the win.

Ryan Sikora and Alan Japenga both dished out five assists ,

January 20 saw the Raiders collect a 39-31 low-scoring win over Schaller-Crestland in a non-conference contest as the baskets were a little tougher to come by after the big win over West Bend-Mallard.

Ryan Sikora would lead Ruthven-Ayrshire’s efforts with 10 points, while Alan Japenga scored nine points. Brad Geelan had five points, while Carl Jensen and Mark Geelan both scored four points. Cody Zielstra added three points, with Kyle Simington and Shawn Molitor both adding two points.

Both Ryan Sikora and Alan Japenga pulled down 10 rebounds each in the contest.

After having a game with Ventura postponed due to weather, the Raiders took a win over Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn on Jan. 24, but on Tuesday, Jan. 27, the Raiders ran into an old nemesis in the form of Clay Central-Everly, and lost just their second game of the season in a 72-63 setback.

“Clay Central-Everly was able to control th e backboards and this made it very difficult for the Raiders to get anything going early,”?noted Head Coach Randy Hough. “We were able to cut the lead to five points a couple of times in the second half but were unable to keep the momentum going and get over the hump.”

Despite three players in double figures, the Raiders were only able to come up with 15 offensive rebounds and nine defensive boards in the contest.

“I thought the kids battled hard but we just needed to do a better job of rebounding,”?Coach Hough said.

Ryan Sikora would lead the Raiders with 20 points, while Brad Geelan added 18 points. Carl Jensen chipped in 10 points, while Al Japenga scored eight points. Cody Zielstra added five points and Mark Geeland added two points.

Brad Geelan would pull down five rebounds in the setback and handed out three assists along with teammate Ryan Sikora. Cody Zielstra would make four steals in the contest.

The Raiders got back on the winning track with an overtime 64-56 win over West Bend-Mallard in Ruthven on Friday night.

After handling West Bend-Mallard in their first meeting earlier in the month, the Raiders took a 16-11 lead after the first quarter of Friday’s game,

West Bend-Mallard would come back to take a one-point, 28-27 lead at the intermission, but the Raiders never lost their composure. The two teams traded buckets evenly in the third quarter and the Raiders regained the lead with a 42-39 tally in a low scoring quarter.

But in the final quarter of regulation play, the two teams kept at each other, matching bucket for bucket until, with just :02 remained. the score was knotted at 54-54 to force the extra period.

The overtime was all Ruthven-Ayrshire, as the Raiders outscored the Wolverines by a 10-2 tally to take the 64-56 final victory.

“We seem to have played flat for most of the game, but then we came to life in the overtime and outscored West Bend-Mallard 10-2,” noted Coach Hough.

We did not do a very good job of taking care of the basketball, which led to too many turnovers.

Ruthven-Ayrshire had two players in double figures again, with Brad Geelan scoring 13 points and Carl Jensen adding 11 points to the coffers. Al Japenga scored nine points, while Cody Zielstra and Ryan Sikora both added eight points. Mark Geelan tallied seven points and Kyle Simington came up with six points, as Trevin Enderson rounded out the effort with two points.

“I was happy with the our players coming off the bench in the second half as tthey gave us some needed spark,”?Hough added.

The Raiders will host Graettinger/Terril tonight (Tuesday) and then host Ventura on Friday, Feb/ 6. before hosing North Sentral Kossuth on Saturday night, Feb. 7.