The Tigers outlasted a stubborn, determined and disciplined Central Bible College in Friday’s semi-final action with a 64-61 victory in front of the Spartan’s home crowd. Grace now advances to their third national final game in 5 years as they face Southeastern University for the National Championship at 4 PM CST (5 PM EST).
The Tigers were led once again by Allen Durham with 28 points and 10 rebounds and fellow captains Ryan Krombeen with 15 points and Brandon Herlein with 10 points, but it was Ryan Dame, coming off the bench, that seemed to spark the Tigers each time they needed it most. “Ryan may have played his best game in a Tiger uniform to date,” said Coach Gary Bailey. It was the things Dame did that don’t show in the box score that made a big difference. His diving for loose balls, defense, rebounding, and two spectacular dunks energized the team each time Central Bible made a run at Grace.
In the last minute of the game Ryan Krombeen broke a tie with a determined drive to the basket to put the Tigers up by two, and when Herlein was fouled with 7 seconds, Grace had a chance to seal the victory. But Herlein missed the first of two free throws before nailing the second. The Spartans had one last chance at a long 3 pointer to tie the game but it fell short and the Tigers were in the Championship final.