"Such a heartbreaking loss for us," said Storm Lake head coach Mel Fisher. "We were in the game the whole time, leading with 1:40 to go. We got good looks at the basket in the last minute we just couldn't get the shot to fall. I am very proud of the way the girls fought. They left it all on the floor tonight."
The Tornadoes trailed 15-8 after one but would close with 21-19 at the halftime whistle. They trailed 39-35 entering the fourth.
Chyann Smith led Storm Lake as she hit on 5-of-11 from the floor, including 4-of-8 from three on her way to 15 points. She added three rebounds, two assists and three steals. Brenna Richter matched her with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting. She added two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Erin Schuelke had seven points and four rebounds, Emily Johnson had four points and four assists, and Megan Miller had two points and three steals.
The Tornadoes will still look to cut down on turnovers but made strides offensively, hitting on 17-of-44 from the field and 7-of-20 from three.
"We need to continue to work on taking care of the ball on our end as we had 22 turnovers, many were unforced errors," said Fisher. "To start the 4th quarter we turned the ball over on our first 5 possessions. We are continuing to improve each night and look for nothings but positive things to come. We are entering a really tough stretch for us over the next two weeks of games. We have to continue to fight and compete each night."
The Tornadoes (0-3) will have three of the next four at home, but all four will be strong opponents as they welcome in Dension-Schleswig tonight, head to Western Christian next Tuesday, host Spirit Lake next Friday, and finally host Estherville Lincoln Central Tuesday the 11th.