Wayne Trace’s Ryan Kortokrax puts up a shot during a sectional final game at Defiance High School Friday evening. The Raiders fell to Tinora 55-48. (Times Bulletin/John Rindahl)
BY KEVIN WANNEMACHER
Times Bulletin Business Manager
DEFIANCE - Missed shots, unforced turnovers and crucial mistakes proved to be too much for Wayne Trace to overcome Friday night as the Raiders saw their season come to a close in a 55-48 loss to Tinora at Defiance High School.The Rams did what they wanted to against Wayne Trace, wearing down the red-white-and-blue and pushing the tempo and taking advantage of poor decision-making by the Raiders to advance to district tournament action. Tinora will play Archbold in the Division III district at Napoleon High School. Ottawa-Glandorf and Evergreen square off in the other district semifinal.
Early on in the contest, the two squads traded baskets for most of the first quarter. Grady Gudakunst and Dalton Sinn combined for ten opening stanza markers for Wayne Trace before a late bucket by Nick McClain gave the Raiders an 18-15 advantage after eight minutes of action.
Buckets from Sinn and Gudakunst pushed the margin to 22-16 before the Rams started to rally. Consecutive baskets by Tinora's Cameron Harris and Derek Drewes brought the green-and-white within 22-20 before another Gudakunst two-pointer made it 24-20.
With the Raiders on top 28-25, a three-point play by Drewes knotted the contest at 28-28 at the intermission.
"They wore us down a little bit there in the second quarter and they were able to take advantage," noted Raider head coach Jim Linder. "Tinora was able to push the tempo a little bit and we didn't always make good decisions as a team. They defended well too so it made it difficult to score."
Tinora took its first lead since the first minute of the game, using a free throw from Sam Lehman and a Drewes basket to go on top 33-30.
Two Ryan Kortokrax baskets quickly put the Raiders on top 34-33 but it would be the final lead for Wayne Trace.
A Lehman three-point play and two foul shots by Brevin Renollet gave Tinora a 38-34 advantage it wouldn't relinquish. Sinn picked up a late basket for Wayne Trace to get the Raiders within 38-36 at the end of three periods.
"Tinora played well and it was a hard-fought, physical game," Linder continued. "Each team had opportunities to make plays. They stepped up and hit some big free throws."
The Rams took their biggest lead of the night at 44-38 after two Lehman foul shots before one final run by the Raiders.
Colby Speice connected on two treys on consecutive Raider possessions to get the red-white-and-blue within 45-44 with 3:51 remaining but Tinora answered.
Drewes' final bucket of the game made it 47-44 before a Renollet foul shot pushed the lead to 48-44. It then became a free throw shooting contest, with the Rams getting two each from Alec Frank, Drewes and Robert Wuo to seal the victory.
"I am extremely proud of this senior class," Linder concluded. "They are going out as Green Meadows Conference champions and posted a 20-win season."
Drewes led the Rams with 17 points and 14 rebounds while Frank added eight markers. Tinora finished the night 17 of 49 from the field (35 percent) and 18 of 31 at the charity stripe (58 percent). Lehman also picked up eight boards for the green-and-white.
Gudakunst closed his career at Wayne Trace with a team-high 14 points while adding two steals. Sinn wrapped up the season with ten points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals against the Rams. Nick McClain posted six markers for the Raiders while grabbing three boards. Ryan Kortokrax chipped in ten points and a dozen rebounds.
Corbin Linder also added ten rebounds for the Raiders, who won the battle of the boards 43-34. Wayne Trace also had 16 turnovers compared to Tinora's ten. The red-white-and-blue hit 23 of 60 shots (38 percent) from the field and missed all three free throw attempts.