In their first confidence-builder of the season, the Storm Lake boys basketball team beat the Braves at Cherokee 58-43 here Friday night.
A stunning performance by Ben Thompson, who had four 3-pointers in the third quarter, gave the Tornadoes the momentum they needed to overcome a somewhat sluggish game in the first half that saw both teams jockey for the lead.
It was Logan Masters, Casey Morgan, and Matt Adams who set the pace in the first period to give the Tornadoes a 10-4 lead.
Storm Lake managed to hold on to a slim 21-20 lead at the half, but Cherokee inched ahead to 22-21 with about six minutes left in the half. The Braves kept right up with the Tornadoes to make it 31-30, Storm Lake, with a few minutes remaining in the third period.
It was Thompson's inspired performance with back-to-back 3-pointers that gave Storm Lake a 37-30 lead. Derrick Randall was good for two points more to give the Tornadoes a solid 39-30 lead at the end of the third period.
The Tornadoes never really looked back in the final period, and with some solid help from Morgan both in the field and at the line, Storm Lake finished it 58-43.
Thompson was leading scorer for Storm Lake with 14 points, all in the third period. Morgan added 14 points and Masters 11.
Storm Lake outrebounded Cherokee 36-23. Storm Lake is now 1-4 overall and 1-3 in the Lakes Conference.
"It's our first win and something we can build on," said SLHS coach Jeff Brennan.
Aurelia sprung a Northwest Conference surprise in Pomeroy Friday night with a 54-45 win over the Knights.
It was Pomeroy-Palmer's first conference loss. Earlier in the season, PP had beaten both Newell-Fonda and Alta.
Aurelia coach Grant Peckenschneider credited his defense for the win.
"We played the best defense we have in two years," he said. "The guys were talking and communicating on the defensive end and we were seeing the whole floor."
Aurelia's Tim Fordyce came off the bench to lead the Bulldogs with 16 points while senior post player Matt Berg added 14.
Defensively, Aurelia held PP's standout guard David Erickson to just nine points on three three-point shots.
Aurelia led 12-9 after the first quarter and 25-22 at the half. The Bulldogs led 38-33 after three quarters.
"They went on a little run in the fourth quarter and it put a scare into us," Peckenscheider said. "But we settled down and made our free throws down the stretch."
Rebounding was a key factor for the Bulldogs, who outrebounded the Knights, 42-20.
"We expect to outrebound teams we play," added Peckenschneider. "But it was still a big factor. We had a lot of offensive rebounds that gave us second-chance points."
With the win, Aurelia improved to 5-2 overall and 4-2 in Northwest Conference play.
Sioux Central 50,
Led by 17 points from senior guard Cody Wiitmaack, Sioux Central cruised to this victory.
Despite the loss, Schaller-Crestland coach Jeremy Langner was pleased with his team's effort. The Wildcats dropped to 1-6 in conference play and 1-7 overall.
"We may not have the most wins in the conference," he said, "but not team works harder than our guys do. We are a young team with a couple of freshmen in the lineup but we give a good effort every night."
According to Langner, both teams started in zone defenses. With both teams cold from the outside, Sioux Central led just 7-5 after the first eight minutes. The Rebels led 21-16 at the half and 37-22 after three quarters.
Justin Pyle led the Wildcats with 14 points while Adam Barlow added 11.
Sioux Central outrebounded Schaller-Crestland 35-21.
"The boards were a factor in their favor," Langner said. "We gave them a lot of second-chance opportunities."
Up next for Schaller-Crestland is Storm Lake-St. Mary's.
St. Mary's 42
Newell-Fonda turned on the afterburners in the second quarter of this contest at St. Mary's High gym.
They led 15-9 after one quarter and outscored the Panthers 19-9 in the second quarter and 19-6 in the third.
Tim Seagren had a fine game for the Mustangs with a game-high 24 points. Senior guard Jared Neppl added 15 for Newell-Fonda.
"Newell-Fonda did a nice job of grinding it out and forcing us into mistakes," St. Mary's coach Brad Wild said. "I thought we did a nice job of controlling tempo in the first quarter.
Abe Flanigan led the Panthers with ten points while T. J. Miller added nine and Turail Buol and Devin Landgraf eight each.
Newell Fonda had just eight turnovers to 21 for Storm Lake-St. Mary's.