Big runs lead to loss for Titans

Photo by Travis David/Daily Clarion

Gibson Southern's Andrew Smith makes his way towards the hoop in the first quarter Tuesday night. Smith scored 18 points in the Titans loss to Boonville.

FORT BRANCH -- Basketball is often a game of runs.

Unfortunately, the Gibson Southern boys basketball team was on the wrong side of two pivotal runs Tuesday night against visiting Boonville.

The Pioneers used a 12-0 run over the final two-plus minutes of the first quarter and two-plus minutes to start the second quarter to take control.

The result was a 58-51 loss for the Titans.

"That is something we have been trying to stop all season," Titans coach Kyle Runyan said of the runs. "It seems like that is something that happens in just about every game for us."

Back-to-back three-pointers by Dawson Witte followed by a pair of free throws from Andrew Smith gave the Titans a 14-8 lead with 2:57 left in the first quarter.

Then Boonville started knocking down shots.

The Pioneers led 15-14 at the end of the first eight minutes of play and stretched the lead to as many as seven in the first half before settling for a 27-23 lead at the break.

An 8-2 spurt by Boonville, to start the second half, put the Titans in a 10-point deficit.

The Titans would come no closer than five points the rest of the game.

Runyan credited Boonville for a well-played game.

The Pioneers, who entered the game with a 1-14 record, knocked down eight shots from behind the arc for the game.

"You have to give them props," the Titans coach said of Boonville. "They had some kids step up who usually don't hit some of those shots or at least do not shoot it that well."

The one-two punch of Witte and Smith kept the Titans within striking distance most of the game.

Witte tallied a game-high 24 points, while Smith added 18.

Only three other Gibson Southern players scored and none more than Adam May's five points.

"That is the first thing we looked at," Runyan said. "We need to have better balance. I am not surprised in the night Andrew and Dawson had but we need others to get going if we want to have a chance at the end of games."

The Titans (4-11) travel to Tell City Thursday night before returning to the Titan Fieldhouse against Tecumseh on Friday.

"I still think we are getting better and the kids are working hard," Runyan stated. "I am proud of their effort, we just need to clean a few things up as we get ready for two more games this week."

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