Heartbreaking End To Season For Raiders
STORM?LAKE – It wasn’t the way that Ruthven-Ayrshire wanted to see their season end. In Tuesday’s Class 1A district semi final game, the Raiders were simply shut down by a smothering St. Mary’s defense in a 59-9 blowout.
St. Mary’s, one of the heavily favored teams in Class 1A, opened the game with a clinging, smothering man-to-man press under the bucket and a half-court pressure that simply stopped the Raiders cold, taking them completely out of their offense.
Ruthven-Ayrshire could only get a few short looks at the bucket in the first half, as the St. Mary’s defenders rapidly collapsed two and three deep on the ball on every possession, holding the Raiders scoreless in the first quarter while taking a 20-0 advantage after the opening quarter.
The Raiders would get a few looks at the bucket in the second quarter, but the Panthers’ relentless attack continued non-stop to post a 38-5 lead at the intermission.
Trailing by 33 points to start the second half, the Raiders were looking at the worst kind of adversity – a huge deficit against a tough, quality team. To their credit, the Raiders never backed away from the challenge.
Time and time again in the third quarter, Ruthven-Ayrshire attempted to run their offense and get a shot, only to have the ball swatted away or stolen and converted to points on the other end of the court.
The continuous clock began shortly after the start of the third quarter and would run through the end of the game.
With St. Mary’s holding a 55-7 lead to start the final quarter, both teams began bringing the reserves into the game to finish out the contest, as Ruthven-Ayrshire would finish the season in the heartbreaking 59-9 loss.
For the Raiders, Dylan Smith led the offense with four points, while Kyle Toillion and Damon Morris both scored two points each and Austin Dyer added one free throw.