Spencer hit 11 three-point shots in 18 attempts on its home floor here Friday night, including the gamewinner with just two seconds left in a 65-62 win over the Storm Lake High boys basketball team.
With the loss, the Tornadoes dropped to 5-7 in Lakes Conference action and to 6-10 overall.
Spencer's 6-1 senior Doug Neiderhiser canned a three-point shot with just three seconds left to give the Tigers a 63-62 advantage.
He stole the ensuing inbounds pass and made a layup from in close for the final margin.
Tornado coach Bob Grant was frustrated with the loss, especially with his team's performance at the free throw line. SLHS made just 6 of 14 attempts.
"We've lost the last two games because we haven't hit our free throws," he said.
The Torndaoes lost despite 22 points from guard Logan Masters, 18 from center Derrick Randall and 12 from junior point guard Alex Spielman.
Neiderhiser led the Tigers with a game-high 29 points, while teammate Levi Morris added 16 and Jay Olberding 12.
The Tornadoes trailed for all but 20 seconds of the game, according to Grant. Spencer led 15-11 after one quarter, 37-31 at the half and 48-41 after three frames.
Trailing 57-50 with about four and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Tornadoes made a run.
Randall knocked down a two-point shot, and after a stop, Spielman canned a three as Storm Lake was within 57-56.
Masters then stole the inbounds pass and went in for an easy layup for a 58-57 Tornado lead with 3:49 left.
"We wanted to pressure them 94 feet for the entire 32 minutes," Grant said. "When we played aggressive defense, we played better offense. We just weren't aggressive for the whole game like we needed to be."
Morris tied the game at 58 with a free throw, then Neiderhiser made a two-point shot. Spielman countered with a two-pointer on the other end, and after a Spencer miss, Randall gave Storm Lake a 62-60 lead with two minutes left.
The Tornadoes missed the front end of a one-and-one situation, and on the other end, Spencer called a timeout with 15 seconds left.
The ball went to Neiderhiser and he canned the deciding three-pointer.
With the win, Spencer improved to 6-9 overall and to 6-5 in Lakes play.
The Alta High boys clinched the Northwest Conference title outright with this win, but it didn't come easy.
On Thursday night, the Cyclones lost a two-point decision to LeMars Gehlen, then got off to a slow start at home Friday night.
"It's tough to go on back to back nights," Alta coach Bart Smith said. "We were a little sluggish early on, but played well down the stretch."
Alta trailed Schaller-Crestland 14-9 after one quarter and 37-24 at the half.
"I just told the kids that we had to chisel away at their lead and that we couldn't get it back all at once."
The Cyclones outscored S-C 19-11 in the third quarter and trailed just 46-43 at the last break. They held a 23-11 edge in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
"We pressed them at the start of the third quarter, and that's really what got us back in the game," Smith said.
Senior point guard Brad Payne led a balanced Alta attack with a game-high 21 points. Tyler Boyd added 16 and Paul Allerdings eight.
Schaller-Crestland got off to its early lead thanks to some torrid shooting from beyond the arc.
According to Smith, the Wildcats made eight three's in the first half on nine attempts.
"It was a nice comeback win for our kids," Smith said. "They really deserve to be conference champions."
Collin Johnson led Schaller-Crestland with 14 points while senior Justin Pyle added 12 and center Kiley Murra 10.
Sac City 71,
St. Mary's 67
Despite 20 points and eight rebounds from senior post player Andy Dahm, the Panthers lost this game on their home floor Friday night.
The Panthers played an outstanding first quarter, taking a 16-14 lead after the first eight minutes.
Sac City outscored them 21-14 in the second quarter for a 35-30 lead at halftime.
The Indians led 52-46 at the last break, but St. Mary's outscored them 21-19 in an offensive-oriented fourth quarter before falling three-points short.
"I thought out kids gave a great effort but just came up a little short," said St. Mary's coach Brad Wilkening.
The Panthers lost in large part due to an outstanding performance from Sac City guard Nathan Poen. He scored a game and career-high 34 points, including two three-point shots and 12 free throws in 15 attempts.
"We just had too many turnovers," Wilkening said, "and Poen had a great individual effort. We're just going to keep playing hard and improving and maybe things will break our way."
St. Mary's senior Jimmy Steward added 15 points and six rebounds, while guard T.J. Miller hit double figures with nine points.
Senior gaurd Abe Flanigan finished with nine points.
The Aurelia boys basketball team jumped to a 20-7 first-quarter lead, and cruised to this home win over Laurens-Marathon Thursday night.
Off-guard Jacob Bruce led the way with a game-high 24 points, with his brother Jared adding 13 and Dustin Weiland 12.
Aurelia led 37-28 at the half and after both teams scored 13 points in the third quarter, the Bulldogs held a 17-11 advantage in the fourth quarter.
"We shot the ball extremely well (63 percent) and we rebounded well in the second half," Aurelia coach Grant Peckenschneider said. "We also had 20 assists, and when you do those types of things, you can win some games."
The Aurelia coach added that his team used a pressure defense against the Chargers in the second quarter.
"They played well in that quarter, but we still were able to keep a ten-point lead," Peckenschneider said. "I thought Jacob (Bruce) played a solid game, and Dustin Weiland was six of six from the field and played a great game."
Peckenschneider added that Jared Bruce was just two rebounds and one assist away from a triple-double.Jared Bruce finished with eight rebounds and nine assists.