Spartans Show Grit at "The Pit"; Beat Elder 52-50

Posted on: January 5, 2021

As the Spartans traveled to the West Side to take on the number four ranked team in the state, it’s not likely that many outside of the Spartan locker room gave Turpin a chance prior to tip-off.  However, the Spartans put together a solid team effort, led by Brady Hardewig and Dom Cantrella, putting up 17 and 16, respectively, resulting in a hard fought 52-50 victory.  Dating back to last season, this marked the third straight win over the Elder Panthers. 

Turpin came out on fire with four three pointers, the first by Cantrella, followed by three in a row from Hardewig.  By that time, the visitors led by the score of 12-7 and the Panther’s coach called a time out to regroup.  Elder was able to put together a 7-2 run, to tie it up at 14.  Hardewig went to work again, but this time in the paint, grabbing his own rebound and putting it back up and in.  Elder grabbed the 17-16 lead with seconds left in the quarter.  Cantrella then drove into the lane and forced one up, which found its way to the hoop as the buzzer sounded.  Turpin held the 18-17 advantage after one quarter of play.

The second quarter opened with a 6-2 run for the Panthers, before Matthew Johnson came up with a steal and then fed Theisen Lee under the basket for a layup.   Cantrella then drove the lane for the hoop and the harm.  After a defensive stop, thanks to a tough rebound by Jarin Terhorst, Hardewig got free and nailed a jumper to stretch the Spartan’s lead to 27-23.  Things got chippy when a frustrated Elder player intentionally stepped over Johnson, after knocking him to the ground.  The antics cost the Panthers a technical foul and Hardewig made both free-throws.  Johnson then notched another steal and dumped the ball off to Terhorst in the post for a layup.  The half ended with Turpin holding a four-point lead at 33-29.

Play tightened early in the third.  After a three-pointer by Elder cut the lead to one, Ethan Zinn drilled a jumper to maintain the Spartan advantage.  The Panthers would claw back to regain the lead at 37-35.  But Johnson’s nose for the ball on both ends of the court, fueled the Spartans 8 straight points, including baskets from Cantrella, Jack Selfridge and Terhorst.  Johnson would finish the game with three steals and three assists.  After three quarters of play, the Spartans led 43-39.

Elder stormed out with an 8-2 run to recapture the lead at 47-45, as the momentum was shifting to their side.  Terhorst gave the Spartans a much-needed bucket in the paint, to tie it at 47 with 2:45 left to go.  After a basket by the Panthers, Hardewig found Selfridge in the corner for a three-point shot… DRAIN-O!  As the Spartans continued to get stops on the defensive side of the ball, they also squandered some opportunities at the free-throw line that would have likely put the game away.

With 0:26 on the clock, an Elder guard was fouled and made only one of two from the stripe, tying the game at 50.  Cantrella pulled down the rebound and dribbled up the court with plenty of time for the final shot.  After crossing mid-court, he held the ball and surveyed the floor.  With about five seconds on the clock, he made his move to the basket, backing up his defender with a jab step and then pulled up from the foul line… SWISH!  With two seconds remaining, Elder failed to secure the long in-bound pass and time expired, awarding the Spartans a well-deserved win.  This was a classic team effort where every player put his hand in the pile to secure the victory.  It also shows that this squad can hang with ANY team on their schedule this season.  Well done, gentlemen!

Scoring:            Hardewig-17; Cantrella-16; Selfridge-7; Terhorst-6; Lee-4; Zinn-2

Assists:             Cantrella, Johnson-3; Zinn, Hardewig, Marathe-2

Rebounds:        Cantrella, Zinn-5; Johnson-4; Lee, Hardewig, Terhorst-2; Sheffer-1

Steals:              Johnson-3; Zinn, Terhorst-2