Blunck calmly deposited two free ones to make it 57-53; Martin’s bucket cut it to 57-55 and Dick hit one of two at the line for a 58-55 TC edge. Martin hit again with :08.8 to play; the Gophers fouled in desperation, and Davis and Bryce Dowell canned clinching free throws.
Neither club needed asbestos gloves when it came to overall accuracy. TC was 22 of 52 (.423), 4 of 13 from 3-point range (.307) and of course that horrendous .500 at the stripe. Prairie was 18 of 43 overall (.419), a decent 7 of 19 from long distance (.368) and 14 of 21 (.667) at the line.
The quarter stops weren’t alarming either, TC leading at the first stop, 18-17; CP in front at halftime, 26-25, and after three quarters, 38-37, and it was deadlocked at 47-47 after three segment.
The lead changed hands four times in the final segment, and it took Howell’s bomb to keep the battle alive at 47-all.
Howell, who was later named the tourney’s outstanding player, led TC with 18 points and also had five rebounds. Blunck had 13 tallies and 12 rebounds.
Morris had a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds; Martin added 22 markers and eight rebounds.
TC won the boards, 31-19, and had just eight turnovers while the Gophers erred 13 times.
The five-man all-tournament team included Jared Miller of Carroll; Jake Burton of Clinton Central; Morris and Martin of Clinton Prairie and Blunck of Tri-Central.