EVERLY - It was quite the storybook ending the Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire girls were looking for-but it was still a good story.
The Titans rallied from a 13-point second half deficit to tie Clay Central-Everly twice in the fourth quarter. But GTRA couldn't quite get over the hump.
With the Titans trailing by one, 44-43, the Mavericks' Mattie Larson hit a 3-pointer from the right wing that proved to be the final dagger.
GTRA senior Cassy Hampson (11) fires up a free throw as Morgan McGrauth (21) watches during the Titans Class 1A first-round game in Everly on Thursday.
EDN photo by David Swartz
That came with over a minute left in the game, but GTRA couldn't get the shots to fall and committed a couple turnovers that allowed CCE to preserve a 50-43 victory in Thursday's Class 1A first-round game.
The two teams had met just two nights before with the Titans losing 50-32.
This game was much closer at the start.
GTRA took an early 8-5 lead with Marly Bakken and Lauren Flaharty both scoring four points. A three-point play by the Mavs tied the game, but Brooke Hoffman scored the final three points of the first period to give her team an 11-8 lead.
But the Mavericks quickly tied the game in the second quarter. At 15-15, the hosts suddenly went on an 8-0 run.
The Titans fought back and closed the game to 23-20 as Alex Oleson scored on an inbounds play under the basket. However, the Mavericks hit the final two baskets of the half to lead 27-20.
After cutting the deficit to five at 29-24 in the third quarter, CCE put together an 8-0 run in which GTRA coach Todd Hough received a technical for protesting a call.
That left GTRA railing by 13, but Flaharty immediately hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit back to 10 and that was the deficit at the start of the fourth quarter 39-39.
CCE suddenly went cold from the field as the Titans put together a 10-0 run over the next 4:10. The run included, five points from Grace Skattebo, four from Emily Moran and one from Cassy Hampson.
CCE's Heather Busch drew a foul and made the free throws to put her team back on top, but Hoffman answered immediately with an 8-foot jumper. But moments later she fouled out and Busch made two free throws.
Hampson tied the game on a putback of an offensive rebound to tie the game at 43-43, but the Titans wouldn't score again.
Hoffman and Flaharty each finished with 10 points for the Titans while Moran had six and Hampson, Skattebo and Bakken each had five. Oleson had two points.
GTRA finished 10-of-19 from the free throw line compared to 18-of-29 by CCE.
Emily Jobst led CCE (16-4 overall) with 15 points while Blair Montgomery finished with 11 and Busch had 10. Busch was 8-of-9 from the free-throw line.
GTRA ends the season with a 6-15 record. Hampson is the team's lone senior as she played in her final high school game.