After leading the entire first half, Delta suffered from a stretch where they could only manage three points over a span of over 13:30, and visiting Tinora took advantage by coming back to earn a 33-26 victory in non-league boys basketball Friday night.
The Panthers got 10 first half points from James Ruple. He converted three straight two-point baskets for a 6-0 Panther lead, then after Cole Anders put the Rams on the board with a triple, Ruple scored again and their lead sat at 8-3 after one.
At the 4:04 mark of the second quarter, Delta was able to double up Tinora (18-9) thanks to a bucket from DJ Davis. However, from there the Panthers went scoreless for the next 10 plus minutes.
A 3-pointer and basket off an out-of-bounds play by the Rams’ Luke Harris pulled them within 18-14 at the half.
Harris would remain hot from beyond the arc in the second half, enabling Tinora to have success against Delta’s active 2-3 zone defense. The Rams outscored the Panthers 7-2 in the third quarter to claim the lead.
Harris buried a pair of triples around 1 of 2 from the foul line by teammate Eric Bohn, giving Tinora the lead at 21-18. Then, a drive and score executed by Delta’s Nolan Risner kept the Panthers down just one point entering the fourth quarter.
They tied it up when Risner split a pair at the line 1:40 into the final stanza, but the Rams’ Nolan Schafer scored four straight at the other end and the visitors held a 25-21 advantage with 4:22 remaining.
Ruple was fouled with 2:29 left where he went 1 for 2 from the charity stripe, however, a Harris triple with 1:30 remaining extended the Panther deficit to six.
The Rams were able to salt it away by hitting 5 of 8 at the line in the final minute.
Ruple paced the Panthers with 15 points, while Harris notched 17 for Tinora (2-2).
Delta got back on track the next night with a 55-40 win at Montpelier, improving their record to 2-1 on the young season. They are now off until this Saturday when they welcome Rogers.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.