LEMARS - In their first game of the season, the Tornado girls basketball team cruised to a 22-point victory over the visiting Bulldogs. It was a much different story the second time around in LeMars Tuesday night as they survived a late scoring drought to hold off the Bulldogs 52-48.
Storm Lake extended a 32-27 halftime lead to a comfortable 50-37 after three quarters of play, but the LeMars girls stormed back late with an 11-2 fourth quarter run as they nearly gave the Tornadoes their third loss in four games since the holiday break.
"In the fourth quarter, we played not to lose instead of attacking the basket and trying to score," said Storm Lake head coach Mike Wabeke. "Turnovers and intensity in the fourth quarter is something we will be working on before Friday's game."
The Tornadoes shot the ball well from the field making 21 of 50 (42%) and six of 15 (40%) from three point range, but foul shooting continues to be their achilles heel as they made just four of 11 attempts at the line.
"I thought for three quarters we played pretty well against a much improved LeMars team," said Wabeke. "We shot much better from the perimeter than in the past three games. Free throw shooting is still a major concern."
Slone Masters made 4-5 three point attempts on her way to a team high 21 points for Storm Lake. The junior guard added eight rebounds, five blocks, four steals, and three assists.
Cassie Meylor finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks, and Katie Blum chipped in with five points and six rebounds.
The Bulldogs outrebounded the Tornadoes 37-31.
Storm Lake will meet this same LeMars team again in the first round of regional play on February 18th. The Tornadoes have clinched home court advantage for the first two rounds of games.
The Storm Lake girls (8-2) are back on the road again Friday night as they travel to face Estherville-Lincoln Central at 6:30PM.