STORM LAKE - It was a back and forth battle between two of the hottest in the Northwest Conference Tuesday night as the Sioux Central Rebel boys were able to hold off the St. Mary's on the road, 57-54.
The balance of power seemed to shift every quarter with St. Mary's taking an early 9-5 lead before the Rebels evened it up at 13 by the end of the quarter. Sioux Central was on the attack in the second, taking a 27-19 lead before the Panthers clawed back to make it 30-26 at the half.
The third quarter saw the Rebels and Panthers go basket for basket to make it a one point St. Mary's lead (40-39) after three. St. Mary's was able to keep the momentum going in the fourth, building a 46-43 lead midway through before Sioux Central made their final charge to earn the victory.
"I was happy with how hard the kids played all night," said Sioux Central head coach Chris Wildeman. "We also did a nice job of keeping our composure in a close game."
The Rebels' Stuart Goslinga had game-highs in points and rebounds with 19 in both categories to go along with four blocks.
Trevor Tiefenthaler added 13 points, three steals, and three assists, and Jason Richter also made double figures with 11 points.
The Panthers were led by Paul Yak's 15 points, four rebounds, and four steals.
Michael Ivey added 13 points, and Nathan Lenhart finished with ten to go with a team high five rebounds.
Rebounds were hard to come by for St. Mary's Tuesday as Goslinga and the bigger Rebel squad dominated the boards, 31-19.
The Panthers made up for the rebounding deficit in the steals department as their quickness led to 17 steals in all.
The Rebels did their damage inside the arc, making 15 of 25 attempts and 15 of 25 free throws. Meanwhile St. Mary's cashed in front deep, hitting seven of 14 threes.
St. Mary's (8-8, 4-5 NW Conf) is back in action Friday night when they host Aurelia. The Rebels (13-1, 10-1) prepare for a big matchup against 8th-ranked Laurens-Marathon in Laurens.
Tip-offs for both games are set for 8PM.