The Cyclones clinched outright their second straight Northwest Conference title on their home floor here Tuesday night with a 59-44 win over a determined Sioux Central team.
The third-ranked Cyclones had to work hard for this win; they were tied at eight after one quarter, and tied at 33 after three.
Alta won the game in the fourth quarter at the free throw line, hitting 19 of 21 shots from the stripe. Overall, the Cyclones outscored Sioux Central 26-11 in the final stanza for the 15-point win.
"Sioux Central came out with a lot of intensity and played us tough with their 2-3 zone," said Alta coach Bart Smith, whose team improved to 17-1 overall.
"It was nice to see us shoot that well from the line late in the game," coach Smith said. "We know we'll be in those situations during tournaments and hopefully, we'll shoot as well in a couple weeks as we did (Tuesday)."
Sioux Central coach Chris Wildeman was pleased with his team's play, despite the loss.
"We played with the most intensity that we have all year," he said. "If we play with that level of intensity the rest of the year, we can do a lot of good things."
Alta's balanced attack was led by senior guard Tyler Boyd, who netted 13 points. Post players Aaron Hansen and Jordan Hinkeldey each pitched in with 11 points. Drew Lietz added nine points.
Senior forward Cole Buchholz led the Rebels with a game-high 15 points, with Tyler Walker adding 12 and Mike Britton 11.
Alta was 26 of 39 from the line while Sioux Central was nine of 15.
Storm Lake High 60
Sheldon had one too many scoring runs here Tuesday night in this Lakes Conference win over Storm Lake
"We were able to survive all their spurts but one, where we were outscored 12-2 at one point in the second quarter," SLHS basketball coach Bob Grant said.
"It lasted three minutes and you just can't have that long of a drought," he said. "We didn't play bad, but that one run really hurt us. We were never able to get back into the game after that."
The Tornadoes trailed 17-13 after one quarter and were outscored 25-14 in the second quarter to trail 42-17 at halftime. The Orabs led 52-37 after three frames.
"We did some nice things during the game, but we had trouble defending their guys in the blocks," Grant added. "It was a physical game, and not much was called, but we have to adapt to that style of play when we see it."
Post player Jordan Carlson led the Tornadoes with 17 points on eight two-point field goals and one of two free throws. Point guard Dak Ngut added eight and sophomore forward Matt Huseman seven.
Sheldon was led by 20 points from Steven Kirschbaum and 12 each from David Doely and Nick Pulscher.
Huseman added seven rebounds while senior post player Aaron Clausen also pulled down seven boards. Ngut finished with a career-high six assists and A.J. Croker totaled three assists.
St. Mary's 47
A fourth-quarter comeback bid fell short in the Panther Pit Tuesday night as Pomeroy-Palmer hung on for this Northwest Conference win.
St. Mary's, 2-9, 5-11, trailed just 14-10 after one quarter but was outscored 11-6 in the second quarter and trailed 25-16 at the half. Pomeroy-Palmer led 38-30 after three quarters. The Panthers rallied to outscore the Knights 23-14 before falling four points short.
It was the Panthers' fifth straight loss.
"We've got to find some consistency," St. Mary's coach Brad Wilkening said. "We've been up and down the past couple of weeks."
Alec Kestel and T.J. Miller led the Panthers with ten points each, with Thomas Stewart netting seven. They hit four three-point shots, two each by Miller and Kestel.
Brendan George led Pomeroy-Palmer with 22 points and Tanner Freimuth hit double figures with 15. The Knights hit 17 of 32 free throws and St. Mary's seven of 12.
Southern Cal 50,
The Mustangs dropped to 6-11 overall and 5-8 in conference play on their home court Tuesday night.
Newell-Fonda was up and down all night, taking a 13-6 lead after one quarter and trailing 24-23 at the half. The Mustangs were up 39-38 after three frames but were outscored 12-6 in that last eight minutes.
According to N-F coach Paul Loos, his team led 45-42 with a minute left and 45-44 with about a minute left.
"We just couldn't close it out," Loos said. "We had our chances to increase the lead but turned the ball over a couple of times. We've got to be able to control things at the ends of games to make any kind of run late in the season."
Senior power forward Matt Spaulding led the Mustangs with 18 points on seven of nine two-point shooting. The next highest scorer was Nathan Schumann with seven points.
N-F's Luke Sarchet pulled down 11 boards, Spaulding nine and Schumann five.
Sac City 67,
Despite a 9-2 run to start the game, Aurelia couldn't sustain that momentum in this Northwest Conference loss.
The Bulldogs, 5-7 and 7-9 overall, trailed 18-14 after the first quarter, 36-23 af the half and 50-33 after two quarters.
Aurelia coach Grant Peckenschneider said 21 turnovers hurt his team's chances to get back in the game. He added that post player Gabe Fuller, the team's top rebounder and one of its leading scorers, was sick. Post player Aaron Bruce became ill during the game as the Bulldogs lacked an inisde presence.
"We needed some other guys to step up," Peckenschneider said. "Sac City's post players scored 44 points between them and we couldn't match that.
"They have a solid team and showed why they are second in our conference," the coach said.
Jacob Bruce led the Bulldogs with 14 points, with Jared Bruce adding nine and Tanner Winterhof 7.