Tartan fought off a late Woodbury comeback to advance to the Class 4A boys’ basketball state tournament by defeating the Royals 90-78 in the Section 4 final.
A physical start to the game turned into a shootout after the Royals clawed their way back late in the game.
“We just couldn’t let up in second half, we usually let up,” Tartan freshman guard Jordan Horn said.
The Titans jumped out to a 7-0 lead they would never relinquish. Horn scored 28 points, 20 in the first half when his four three-pointers helped Tartan build a 10-point halftime lead.
But Woodbury cut the Titans’ lead to five with 2 minutes, 30 seconds to play..
However, a fast-break layup by the Titans enabled them to pull ahead 79-71, which was all the cushion they would need down the stretch.
“I told our kids at halftime that they were going to make a run, and how we respond to that run is going to go a long ways in how the game turns out,” Tartan coach Mark Klingsporn said.
Horn added eight points in the second half while Keenen Bellaphant totaled 12 points and Brody Jackson 10.
Matt Ambriz led the Royals with 22 points. Nick Yan and Isaiah Coddon each added 20 points.
“We’ve been coming together since our loss at St. Thomas,” Klingsporn said. “I’m really proud of the way our guys came together as a group.”