Billy Mach finished with 21 points, five rebounds and five assists as Storm Lake St. Mary's opened the Class 1A district tournament trail with a 51-39 victory over Albert City-Truesdale on Monday night in Newell.
St. Mary's, now 12-10 overall, played Alta (14-7) in a district quarterfinal game on Wednesday night in Newell.
St. Mary's led 10-8 after the first quarter and 21-20 at halftime. The Panthers used a 13-7 spurt in the third quarter to take a 34-27 advantage entering the fourth period of play.
Kyle Drey added 12 points for the Panthers and Tim Brown scored seven.
Matthew Smith led the Panthers in rebounding with seven, while Brown had six. Ryan Gessner charted three assists and Smith tallied two steals.
Taylor Heideman led AC-T with 19 points. Tim Hogrefe added nine points.
Tyler Hogrefe led the Hurricanes in rebounding with seven. Josh Hyde grabbed six. Caleb Garberding handed out four assists and Tim Hogrefe had three assists and four steals.
St. Mary's made 19 of 47 field goals for 40 percent. AC-T was 15 of 40 from the field for 38 percent.
"I thought our ball pressure created some problems for them," St. Mary's coach Phil Skamser said. "We knew that they were going to try to put it inside on us. They had some success, but I thought we limited the amount of easy shots they got."
"We ran our offense in the second half a lot better and we were able to get Kyle Drey some touches inside. When we do that we're a lot better," Skamser added.
"We were completely out of sync in this game," AC-T coach Dean Christiansen said. "Give credit to St. Mary's and their defense. I was disappointed in our final performance of the season. We were a lot better team than we showed. I thank the seniors for their dedication."