Heading into Wednesday night’s game against Sisseton, Titan head coach Chris Fechner knew it was going to be a battle to earn a repeat trip back to the State A Tournament. Sisseton, a team with size, had proven throughout the season that they could put points on the board. However, the Titans were not to be denied as they defeated Sisseton in the Round of 16 match-up to earn a spot in the 2018 State A Tournament. State will be held Mar. 15-17 in Rapid City. Watch next week’s paper for complete coverage of the Round of 16 match-up, including photos against Sisseton.
To earn their spot in the Round of 16, the Titans had to first defeat Elk Point Jefferson last Friday night, Mar. 2 in the Region 4A playoff game.
The Titans used an explosive second half to earn the decisive 79-47 victory.
“We had a real good start to the game,” said Fechner. “I thought the guys were locked in and focused on the defensive end.”
In the opening quarter, Titan starter Noah Freidel, was forced to leave the game due to an injury.
“When Noah went down with the injury it seemed to suck some of the air out of the building for sure,” said Fechner. “It took us a bit to regroup and figure out where the scoring was going to come from.”
One of the strengths of the Titans is their depth and players came off the bench and provided solid minutes for the team.
“Once Noah returned to the game we seemed to feed off that energy and really played well,” Fechner added.
In the third quarter, the Titans outscored the Huskies 28-11 to build a huge advantage heading into the final quarter where they increased their lead to get the big win.
“Our defense was really strong in the third quarter and that fueled the run we were able to go on,” said Fechner.
The Titans forced 19 turnovers on the Huskies and held them to just over 32 percent shooting.
Tea Area finished the night shooting over 49 percent in the game and had four players in double figures.
Leading the Titans in scoring was Freidel who finished the night with 24 points, sinking five of seven three pointers. He also had six rebounds and one assist in the game.
Justin Hohn recorded a double-double on the night, scoring 15 points and recording a team high 11 assists in the game. He also had five steals and three rebounds. Kade Stearns finished with 15 points, six rebounds and one assist. Chris Morales had 14 points, one rebound, five assists and two steals in the game.
Kaleb Joffer had four points, three rebounds and one assist. Mason Ritter, Nash Johnson, and Jack Unruh each had two points. Zach Wilber provided one point. Seth Kocer had three assists and two rebounds in the game and Jake Friedrich pulled down two rebounds as well.