Dak Ngut had nine points in his first game since being declared academically eligible but it wasn't enough, as Storm Lake's boys team fell to Spirit Lake 48-46 Friday at Tornado Fieldhouse.
With the loss, the Tornadoes fell to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the league.
The game seesawed in the final minutes. Storm Lake's Taylor Anderson scored on a baseline drive to tie it up at 40-40 with 3 minutes left.
He later stole the ball and fed AJ Croker for a layup to make it 42-42.
Chom Thammavongsa went on to score his first points of the game to make it 44-44. Ngut scored driving through the paint to make it 46-46, and Spirit Lake called timeout with 19 seconds left. Storm Lake coach Bob Grant instructed his players to put major pressure on as he assumed the Indians would not attempt a shot right away, and it almost paid off with a loose ball with 10 seconds left that Spirit Lake eventually regained control of and attacked the basket.
An Andy Pringnitz putback with just 1.5 seconds left was the difference of the game, as the Indians went up 48-46 and Storm Lake turned the ball over on the ensuing inbound play.
Croker led the way with 16 points, Jesse Munger had eight, Taylor Anderson and Will Hansen five apiece, Thammavongsa two and Jordan Carlson one.
The Tornadoes led 11-10 after the first quarter but trailed 24-20 at halftime and 37-34 going into the fourth.
"This was a very exciting game for the fans, but we just didn't take care of our business earlier in the game," said Grant. "We didn't execute well enough after we had a 7-0 run to begin the second half, and we let them hang in the game too long."