Armstrong-Ringsted 49, Graettinger/Terril 40 – Knights nearly upend Mustangs
ARMSTRONG — Anything can happen come tournament time and Graettinger/Terril and Armstrong-Ringsted showed that in the Class 1A Region 4 district semifinal on Thursday.
The Mustangs appeared to have the game well in hand with a 25-8 halftime lead.
The Knights had other ideas rallying in the second half and twice cut the deficit to three points with chances to get closer.
However, A-R made nine of 10 from the foul line during a key stretch in the fourth quarter and held on for a 49-40 victory.
“We’re not a great free throw shooting team, but tonight we made them when it counted and that was the difference,” said A-R coach Steve Waldstein.
After the eight-point first half, the Knights came ready to play in the second half with five straight points by Theresa Petersen. A pair of 3-pointers by A-R’s Morgan Grabinoski and Brianne Gonzales along with a basket from Amy Leach put A-R up 33-15.
Then the Knights scored the final seven points of the third quarter with a free throw from Malorie Girres, a shot by Petersen, a putback by Amanda Olesen and a strong move by Tasha Nielson inside.
The run continued in the fourth with Olesen knocking down another jumper followed by a basket by Petersen. When Petersen knocked down a 3-pointer, the lead was suddenly, 33-29, with less than a minute gone in the fourth.
Gonzales answered with a 3-pointer to push A-R’s lead to 36-28, but Nielson scored again followed by a free throw and basket by Petersen as the Knights trailed 36-33 with 4:24 remaining.
A basket by Leach put A-R back up by five and Nielson twice had chances to cut back into the deficit, but missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Petersen rebounded one of the misses and put it in to cut the lead back to three at 38-35.
G/T began fouling though and sending A-R to the free throw line. There, Gonzales, Megan Sander, Michele Iris and Morgan Grabinoski combined to make eight straight over a three-minute span
Iris, who didn’t see much court time as she was out sick much of the week, also knocked down a 15-footer from the left side during that stretch while the Knights suddenly went cold and only had one basket by Petersen.
With A-R leading 48-37, Petersen knocked down a pair of free throws to cut the lead to single digits, but G/T only managed one free throw the rest of the way.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of these kids,” said G/T co-coach Roger Conway. “Defensively I wasn’t disappointed at all. This was one of our hardest efforts.”
The first half began slowly with A-R’s Rosie Cheever putting the first points on the board with three minutes gone in the game.
Liz Sparks answered for the Knights to tie the game at two, but A-R scored the final seven points of the quarter on two baskets by Sanders and the first of Grabinoski’s three 3-pointers to lead 9-2.
In the second quarter, A-R pulled away with contributions from Cheever, Gonzales, Leach and Sanders in building a 25-8 halftime lead.
Petersen only had four of her game-high 27 points in the first half.
“I thought Amy did a great job on Petersen (defensively) in the first half,” said Waldstein. “But with sickness this week, we weren’t quite as deep. In the third quarter, we were just tired.”
He also credited Petersen for her effort.
“She’s a good player and she made some good plays,” he said.
Petersen had 12 rebounds to complement her 27 points.
Gonzales led A-R with 13 points, including three 3-pointers, four assists and three steals.
Grabinoski also had three 3-pointers and ended the night with 12 points. Sander reached double digits with 10 while Leach had eight.
G/T ends the season at with a 5-13 record.
A-R (11-9) advances to play North Sentral Kossuth, a 44-28 victor over Twin River Valley. A-R and NSK will meet Tuesday at Fenton. Game time is 7 p.m.
Graettinger/Terril (40) – Liz Sparks 1 0-3 2; Leah Flaharty 0 0-0 0; Dakota Hovinga 0 0-0 0; Tasha Nielson 2 0-2 4; Lindsay Flaharty 0 0-0 0; Amanda Olesen 2 0-0 4; Theresa Petersen 10 6-8 27; Malorie Girres 0 3-4 3.
Armstrong-Ringsted (49) – Amy Leach 4 0-0 8; Lisa Pelzer 0 0-2 0; Rosie Cheever 2 1-3 5; Brianne Gonzales 4 2-4 13; Morgan Grabinoski 3 3-4 12; Carrie Sorensen 0 0-0 0; Brittney Mitchell 0 0-0 0; Megan Sanders 4 2-4 10; Michele Iris 1 2-2 4.
Halftime score — A-R 25, Graettinger/Terril 8. 3-pointers – GT 1 (Petersen); A-R 6 (Gonzales 3, Grabinoski 3). Rebounds – GT 27 (Petersen 12); A-R 22 (Cheever 7). Assists – GT 1 (Olesen); A-R 7 (Gonzales 4). Steals – GT 5 (Leah 2, Petersen 2); A-R 7 (Gonzales 3). Blocked Shots – GT 2 (Nielson, Girres). A-R 0. Turnovers – GT 23; A-R 17. Total Fouls – GT 21; A-R 19. Fouled Out – Petersen, Girres, Grabinoski. Technical Fouls – none.