Heartbreaking Loss Eliminates Knights From Postseason Action
GRAETTINGER – Post season tournaments give every team a clean slate and renewed optimism at this time of year. But, in some cases, the optimism can fade in a tick of a watch.
For the Graettinger/Terril Knights, the postseason started and ended all in one night Thursday in a heartbreaking, 40-39 loss to Laurens-Marathon.
The Class 1A District quarterfinal matchup between the Knights and the Chargers would be the third time the two teams had met during the season, with each team taking a win in the meetings.
Laurens-Marathon would open the contest by taking an 10-8 lead over Graettinger/Terril at the end of the first quarter of play, but the Knights were just getting warmed up.
In the second quarter, Graettinger/Terril would crank up the offense and outscore the Chargers 19-10 in the period to post a seven-point, 27-20 advantage to go into the locker room at the intermission.
“We played well in the first half," said Graettinger/Terril Head Coach Brent Dyhrkopp. “We really had a big second quarter.”
In the second half, Laurens-Marathon was able to chip away at the Knights’ lead, but continued to trail at the end of the quarter, with Graettinger/Terril holding a 35-30 advantage.
With 8:00 to go and keeping a season alive on the line, there was no question the final period would be an outright battle.
Laurens-Marathon turned up the defensive intensity and in response, the Knights suddenly found their offense chugging along, not flowing well at all.
But, on the other end of the floor, Graettinger/Terril was fighting hard defensively to keep the Chargers from running away. But, Laurens-Marathon chipped away at the lead and would take a 40-39 lead with just under :10 to go in the contest.
A big defensive play by Graettinger/Terril forced a turnover by the Chargers with :04.9 seconds to go on the game clock, but the Knights couldn’t get the final shot to fall as the horn sounded and Laurens-Marathon escaped with the 40-39 win. The Chargers’ defense had limited the Knights to just four points in the last quarter.
“We have played Laurens-Marathon three times this year and each one was close,” Dyhrkopp noted following the loss. “The second half we struggled, especially in the fourth quarter. We had trouble protecting the ball and rebounding.”
Graettinger/Terril was led by Beau Craig’s 15 point effort, while Cody Chapman canned a trio of three-balls for nine points. Mitch Girres added six points, while Cody Dyhrkopp added five points and Colin Leiting rounded out the effort with four points.
“Their defense gave us trouble in the fourth quarter, but we forced a big turnover with 4.9 second left but weren’t able to score at the end,”
Beau Craig would grab five rebounds, while Eric Hatland made three steals and Cody Dyhrkopp dished out three assists.
For Graettinger/Terril, the prep career of senior Cody Dyhrkopp came to a close in the tough loss. The disappointing finish to the season gives Graettinger/Terril an overall season record of 10-8 to close out the2009-2010 hoops campaign.