Raiders Eliminate Wolverines
WEST?BEND – When the tournament season rolls around, the idea is simple. Win, or it’s one-and-done. For West Bend-Mallard, the season is done, while the Ruthven-Ayrshire Raiders moved on with a 50-41 victory over the Wolverines Thursday night. The two county rivals met in the quarterfinal round of Class 1A District Tournament play at West Bend.
Every time the two clubs have met during the regular season, the games have been close, but West Bend-Mallard earned the wins in the two previous meetings, 39-33 on Jan. 17 and 53-37 on Jan. 28.
But on Thursday, the third time was a charm for Coach Randy Hough’s Raiders.
After getting off to a slow start and allowing West Bend-Mallard to take a lead at the end of the first frame, but Ruthven-Ayrshire found their offense and cut their deficit to a point at 21-20 at the intermission. In the second half, the Raiders kept up the pressure on the Wolverines and were able to slowly edge out to take the nine-point, 50-41 win over the Wolverines to end their season.
For the victorious Raiders, Dylan Smith led the offense with 16 points, while teammate Colton Bakken added a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Trevin Enderson added nine points and dished out five assists, while Carter Williamson chipped in six markers and made four steals. Kyle Toillion added four points and Austin Dyer rounded out the effort with three points for Ruthven-Ayrshire.
For West Bend-Mallard – Chris Schmidt would lead the offense with 13 points, while Greg Mader added eight points. Mitch Bonnstetter scored six points while Jason Zinnel and Tyler Foley both added five points to the effort. Jake Umstead and Curt Banwart would round out the scoring with two points each.
“After getting off to a very slow start, we were able to pick it up in the second quarter and got within a point at halftime,” noted Ruthven-Ayrshire Head Coach Randy Hough. “Our defense continued to play well and we shot the ball much better in the second half, and that led us to the 50-41 win.”
With the win, Ruthven-Ayrshire advances into tonight (Tuesday’s) District Semi-final at Storm Lake St. Mary’s where they take on the Panthers of St. Mary’s. Tip off is at 7 p.m. Should the Raiders win, they would play in the District final on Thursday night, Feb. 24, at Emmetsburg High School against the winner of the Laurens-Marathon vs Armstrong-Ringsted game.