Ryan clamps down, beats TGU
Behind bullish post Luke Bacon, TGU scored when it wanted to.
By committee, Bishop Ryan scored when it needed it to.
The Lions (5-3) came up with a couple more stops down the stretch to get past the the Titans in a taut 55-50 non-district boys basketball game on Friday night.
Bacon, a 6-foot-5 junior, scored 16 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, but TGU could never gain a lead despite tying the game four times down the stretch.
Brody Bosch – one of three Ryan players to reach double figures – scored nine points in the fourth quarter and came up with a key steal to help the Lions secure the triumph.
“Players stepped up and made baskets and we got stops when we needed to,” Ryan coach Scott Medalen said. “Just a great team effort overall.”
Bacon and Bosch traded baskets on six straight possessions in the fourth quarter, but a layup by Jared Will, a free throw from Bosch and pair of free throws from Austin Eggl pulled the Lions away.
Jacob Magnuson, who connected on four 3-pointers, had a team-high 13 points for Ryan. Eggl chipped in 10.
“It was going back and forth there for a while,” Bacon said. “We were just trying to find a way to stop each other. When kids are on its tough to stop the other.”
Reserve post Matt Niess – Ryan’s lone senior – made the most of his late-game minutes, helping stop Bacon while also connecting on a pair of free throws.
“He really stepped up for us,” Medalen said. “We needed him to bang with (Bacon).”
Ryan and TGU traded leads in the first half, but the Titans (2-3) did most of their damage from the outside. Eli Luna, TGU’s talented sophomore guard, hit a pair of 3s to give his team an early lead.
Ryan, which hit seven 3s, took a 31-25 lead – its biggest cushion of the game – when Magnuson connected from beyond the arc.
TGU, despite its advantage in the paint, went to the free-throw line just twice (2-for-3). Ryan was a paltry 8-for-16 from the charity stripe.
“With this young group, we’re going to be in a lot of (close) games like this,” Medalen said. “We’ve been in a few already, so we just hope to improve from this game.”
The Lions host Westhope-Newburg at 7:15 p.m. Monday.