STORM LAKE - A brutal early-season schedule is taking a toll on the Storm Lake High boys basketball team's record so far this season.
Tuesday night at the SLHS gym, the Tornadoes lost a two-overtime heartbreaker to Western Christian, 87-81, dropping to 0-4 on the season and to 0-2 in Lakes Conference action.
Western Christian coach Jim Eekhoff felt his team was fortunate to come away with a win.
"To be honest, I thought Storm Lake played a little harder than we did and maybe even deserved to win more than we did," said Eekhoff, whose team is ranked 9th in Class 2A.
"Our kids made some big plays at the end, and I also think we got a little lucky. Storm Lake is an outstanding basketball team that has just had a brutal schedule early.
"I still expect them to do well in the Lakes Conference this season, and with their talent, they have a chance to win it."
During the first four quarters, the lead and momentum changed hands numerous times. WC led 17-15 after one quarter, but the Tornadoes held a 20-16 advantage in the second quarter for a 35-33 halftime lead.
Storm Lake was outscored 17-10 in the third quarter and had to come back in the final frame to force overtime. They did that and nearly won it in regulation.
In that final quarter, the Tornadoes outscored WC 17-12 for a tie at 62 and forcing an extra period.
With 20 seconds left in regulation, Storm Lake led 62-60 and had the ball. After an inbounds play, the Tornadoes turned the ball over on a traveling call. With about six seconds left, WC's Mike Eekhoff canned a ten-foot jumper for the tie.
Storm Lake guard Logan Masters attempted a three-point shot but it was off the mark just before the buzzer sounded.
In the first overtime, the Tornadoes took an early four-point lead, only to see it dissolve. WC had a chance to win in the first overtime, but Eekhoff's 12-foot jumper from the baseline missed.
WC took control early in the second overtime, then sustained it. They scored that frame's first nine points for an 81-72 lead and the Tornadoes were forced to foul.
Storm Lake's 6-foot-6 post player Derrick Randall led the Tornadoes with 29 points. Junior point guard Alex Spielman added 26 and senior off-guard Logan Masters netted 16.
Mike Eekhoff led WC with a game-high 30 points, with Carlie Landegent netting 26 and Trevor Wolterstorff 16.
WC improved to 2-0 in conference play and to 3-1 overall.
St. Mary's 40
Four players finished in double figures for Aurelia Monday night in this win at Storm Lake-St. Mary's.
Off-guard Jacob Bruce led the way with 18 points on eight of 14 shooting. Tanner Winterhof added 15 on five of ten shooting while forward Chris Handy added ten points and Ross Fitzgerald six.
"Our kids played a good game," Aurelia coach Grant Peckenschneider said. "We were aggressive, but still under control and we caused a lot of turnovers."
The coach added that Bruce and Winterhof played their best games of the year.
"Both shot the ball with a lot of confidence," Peckenschneider said.
The Bulldogs led 21-14 after the first quarter and were never seriously threatened after that. Aurelia outscored the Panthers 14-7 in the second quarter, 14-11 in the third and 9-8 in the fourth.
Jimmy Steward led Storm Lake-St. Mary's with ten points on four two-point baskets and two free throws, while senior guard Abe Flanigan knocked down three three-point shots and finished just out of double figures with nine points.
Senior center Andy Dahm added seven points, with Devin Landgraf and T.J. Miller adding six each.
"We didn't play up to our abilities," said first-year Storm Lake-St. Mary's coach Brad Wilkening. "We got beat in every facet of the game - hustling, rebounding and defense. We are going to continue to work hard to improve."
Aurelia outrebounded the Panthers 30-25, with Dustin Weiland pulling down seven rebounds and Bruce and Handy six boards each.
Sophomore point guard Jared Bruce had six of Aurelia's 13 steals, while his older brother Jacob added four more. Jacob Bruce notched a game-high seven assists with Winterhof recording three.
The Bulldogs shot the ball well, making 23 of 58 field goal attempts, including four three-pointers. St. Mary's was 15 of 39 from the field, but hurt itself with 20 turnovers.
"Jared (Bruce) didn't score a lot but his seven assists and six steals really helped," Peckenschneider. "Dustin (Weiland) did a great job on the boards, and Ross (Fitzgerald) hit two key three-pointers.
"Overall, we played with a lot of intensity. We must continue to improve our post play. We also need to do a better job of getting in and out of different defenses. The kids hard as they always."
Newell-Fonda trailed 29-25 at the half, but outscored Schaller-Crestland 18-10 in the third quarter and 17-12 in the fourth to come away with a home conference win.
The Mustangs showed strong balance in their scoring attack, with four players reaching double figures. Brent Sexton and Garrett Bruner each finished with 12 points while Travis Wells and Chad Buchholz netting ten each.
Bruner and Wells each knocked down two three-pointers, and the Mustangs shot 25 three throws, making 13. Jacob Jeppeson led the way on the boards with six rebounds. Buchholz added five and Brad Anderson three.
Schaller-Crestland was led by post player Brian Bode, who scored a game-high 21 points. Guard Justin Pyle added 15 while sophomore post player Kiley Murra registered eight.
Bode completed a double-double, adding a game-high ten rebounds. Murra finished with eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
With the win, Newell-Fonda improved to 3-3 on the season and 3-2 in Northwest Conference play.
Sioux Central 64,
Sac City 49
Senior guard Kasey Huebner scored a game-high 21 points and added five assists and six rebounds in this Rebel win in Sioux Rapids Tuesday night.
Post player Tyler Weber added 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
Sioux Central led just 14-12 after the first quarter, but widened the lead, outscoring the Indians 16-11 in the second frame for a 30-23 halftime advantage.
The Rebels led 45-33 after three quarters and outscored Sac City 19-16 in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
"I was happy with how well we shot the ball (Tuesday night)," Sioux Central coach Chris Wildeman said.
"Our kids played a good physical game and rebounded well. We didn't take very good care of the ball."
The Rebels were 19 of 30 in two-point field goal shooting for 63 percent and five of 14 from three-point range. They also made 11 of 17 free throws.
Sioux Central outrebounded Sac City 30-17 but committed 23 turnovers to 15 or Sac City, which was 17 of 44 from the field for 38.5 percent.