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Brian Rathjen/NT Sports Editor

Riverside’s Drake Woods (2) puts up a shot against Stanton in an earlier game in the Iowa Class 1A district tournament. Woods and Brogan Allensworth (34, backing up the play) were two of the season leaders for the Bulldogs, which saw their season end with a 53-30 loss to Tri-Center Tuesday, Feb. 23.

RED OAK – The Iowa Class 1A District 14 championship kicked off Tuesday as the Tri-Center Trojans faced the Riverside Bulldogs Tuesday night in Red Oak with a trip to substate on the line.

The Trojans started the first quarter strong, building a 9-2 lead. However, the momentum quickly shifted with Riverside hitting their shots and scoring eight unanswered points to end the quarter and take a 12-11 advantage.

Tri-Center had another strong start, going on an 8-0 run in the first minutes of the second quarter to force a Riverside timeout. Even after the break, the Trojans continued to roll and push their lead to 24-13 with three minutes remaining. Riverside was able to cut the deficit to seven due to a technical foul and a bucket in the final minute of the half.

After halftime, the Bulldogs offense was smothered by the Trojans defense. Riverside’s lack of points had them falling out of contention, down 38-20 with two minutes remaining. Riverside managed to get some points on the board but faced an uphill battle down 38-25 heading to the fourth quarter.

Tri-Center continued to salt away the game and keep Riverside at a distance. Riverside kept the intensity high and created some turnovers but the Trojans were able to keep their big lead and win 53-30.

Riverside ends their season with a 12-11 record and a heartbreaking end to a good postseason run. Brogan Allensworth led the Bulldogs in scoring with 14 while Grady Jeppesen added 13.

Tri-Center will advance to the Substate 7 match with a record of 20-3. Ethan Alfers propelled the Trojans with 19 points while Trent Kozeal chipped in 12. The Trojans will play either Earlham or Martensdale St Marys on February 27 in Creston with a trip to Wells Fargo on the line.

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