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Raiders hold off Cardinals’ comeback

MOUNT AYR – Mount Ayr’s impressive fourth quarter sealed the deal for the Raiders Thursday, walking away with a 49-38 win over Central Decatur, Leon.

The third quarter saw the Cardinals pull even with the Raiders at 32-32, but three missed free throws from Central Decatur’s Cauy Spidle gave Mount Ayr a second chance to not only regain the lead, but extend it.

Four consecutive baskets from the Raiders’ Dawson Frost, who proved to be a pivotal role in the Raiders offense late, pushed Mount Ayr to a 40-34 lead.

Scores from Payton Weehler and two free throws from Cayden Lambert helped extend the lead to nine with a minute left, all but sealing the game.

A chase down block from John Shields with 50 seconds left ended what would have been a scoring opportunity for Central Decatur, hyping up the crowd as Mount Ayr worked the clock to its advantage on its way to the 49-38 victory.

The Raiders’ defensive efforts in the second half received high praise from head coach Bret Ruggles.

“Defensively (we) were fantastic,” said Ruggles. “At the quarter break I told the guys that it’s not the type of defense that we’re running, ... it was the execution of it.”

Executing on defense certainly helped in the fourth quarter, limiting the Cardinals to only four points in the final quarter.

“Fourth quarter they locked back in and we did it perfectly well,” added Ruggles.

Knowing the game clock, the best possession of the game came as the minutes started to dwindle with a more experienced starting five on the floor.

“We took about a minute off the clock, we kept reversing it, and we hit Frost in the high post and he kicked it out and we got it right back, and he hit a lay up,” explained Ruggles. “Nobody will talk about that, but it took a minute off the clock in the fourth quarter and we went up six because of it. That’s huge. Experience got us that one.”

First half

A tit for tat game for much of the first half, the Raiders held a six-point lead going into halftime.

A quick steal and score for the Raiders got them on the board first, holding the lead for much of the first half.

Triples from Cayden Lambert and Payton Weehler pushed the lead to 24-18, leading to the 26-20 halftime score.

“I think we shot the ball well in the first half,” said Ruggles. “The first quarter was fantastic for us.”

The first half saw Myles Greene claim sole possession of first place in the Mount Ayr basketball record books, passing Jaren Ricker’s record of 298 assists. Green finished the night with seven assists.

UP NEXT – Mount Ayr (9-2, 7-1 in Pride of Iowa play) will head to Murray (9-2, 6-2 in Bluegrass play) on Monday.

Mount Ayr 49, Central Decatur 38

CENTRAL DECATUR (38) — 12 8 14 4

MOUNT AYR (49) — 17 9 10 13

MOUNT AYR (FG FT PTS) — Totals — 18 6-13 49. Dawson Frost 8 1-4 18, Payton Wheeler 3 3-4 11, Myles Greene 3 0-1 9, Issac Grose 3 0-2 6, Cayden Lambert 1 2-2 5 . 3-point goals – 7 (Greene, 3 Weehler 2, Frost 1, Lambert 1). Rebounds — 24 (Grose 7, Frost 6, Wheeler 4, Greene 3, John Sheilds 2, Chase Henry 2). Assists — 12 (Greene 7, Wheeler 3, Frost 2). Steals — 16 (Wheeler 5, Shields 4, Frost 4, Grose 1, Greene 1, Lambert 1). Blocked shots — 5 (Grose 2, Frost 1, Shields 1, Lambert 1). Team fouls — 8. Fouled out — Grose.

CENTRAL DECATUR (FG FT PTS) — Totals — 14 5-9 38. Michel Evertsen 4 0-0 12, Cole Pedersen 5 0-1 10, Cole Minnick 2 0-0 4, Cauy Spidle 1 1-4 3, Matt Boothe 0 3-3 3, Cash Tharp 1 1-2 3, Kolby Hewlett 1 0-0 2 . 3-point goals – 5 (Evertsen 4, Hewlett 1). Team fouls — 13. Fouled out — none.

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