STORM LAKE - Some lights out shooting and a commanding lead on the boards paved the way the Alta boys basketball team in their 77-55 win over St. Mary's Tuesday night.
The Cyclones shot 52% (26-50) from the field on the night including 10 of 20 from long range, and they outrebounded the Panthers 38-28 en route to picking up their third win of the season.
"We shot the ball well tonight, but a lot of that came from making the extra pass with 24 assists," said Alta head coach Dean Lietz. "We been talking a lot about winning the first quarter and not only did we do that, but won all four quarters so that was a big positive."
Both teams came out strong with the Cyclones grabbing an early 22-19 advantage after one, and St. Mary's slowed a bit in the second quarter as the Cyclones entered the half up 38-28. The lead grew to 54-43 after three, and then Alta poured it on in the fourth ass their 23 points pushed them far out in front.
Jeremy Lambert led the Cyclones as he finished with 14 points including four of nine from three point range to go with seven rebounds. Robert Maharry also turned in 14 on the night.
Michael Huseman totaled 13 to go with eight rebounds. Andrew Allerdings was the fourth Alta player in double figures with 11 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Austin Stille had a team high ten rebounds and six assists.
"St. Mary's is very aggressive and forced some turnovers so give them credit," said Lietz. "But I was happy we kept our composure. This was a nice win in a tough environment and now we need to play this way on Thursday at Pocahontas."
The Panthers' Connor Richardson led all scorers with 20 points on the night on 9 of 13 shooting. He also led St. Mary's with nine rebounds, five steals, and four assists.
Michael Ivey finished with 13 points and three steals. Paul Yak and Marco Barahona each added six points.
The loss drops the Panthers to 2-5 on the year. They're back on the court Friday night when they travel to take on Schaller-Crestland.
Alta moves to 3-3 on the year following the win and Monday night's loss to Newell-Fonda by a score of 71-58. The open looks that were abundant Tuesday were hard to come by against the Mustangs as they finished with just nine assists and 21 of 51 shooting.
Austin Stille led the Cyclones with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and four steals. Lambert added 12 and Huseman 11.
Alta has a busy week with two games already under their belt and two more upcoming. They host Pocahontas (5-1) tonight before heading to Laurens to meet the Chargers (4-1) Friday night. Both games are scheduled to begin at 8PM.