ORANGE CITY - Four Alta players reached double-figures, but the Cyclone boys' basketball team just couldn't keep up with a ranked Unity Christian ball club Friday night, falling 76-58.
The tenth-ranked Knights stormed out to a 27-12 lead after one that grew to 43-26 by the half. The Cyclones came out hot after the break, cutting the lead to single digits late before taking the eventual loss.
"This was a game where Unity came out on fire going 5-6 from 3-point range in the first quarter but to our credit we kept playing hard and had it down to 7 at the 6 minute mark of the fourth quarter," said Alta head coach Dean Lietz. "There was a tournament-like atmosphere, which will help us down the road. We played well enough offensively to win but defensively , when you combine their size inside with the way they shoot the ball, that is a tough combination. I feel good about our team heading tournament play."
Austin Stille notched another double-double to lead the Cyclones, scoring 10 to go with 13 rebounds, four steals, and three assists. Michael Huseman led the scoring effort with 14 and five assists.
Jack Mills and Robert Maharry both added ten apiece on the night.
Alta shot well, hitting 24-53(45%) and 8-24 threes. They were perfect at the foul line, but they had just two attempts on the night.
The Cyclones now gear up for the first round of district play as they host St. Mary's Thursday night.
Alta took both regular season meetings from the Panthers, 77-55 61-45. Tip-off in Alta is 7PM.