Tornadoes break into win column, top Spirit Lake

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Above: SL's Ethan Kenkel notched a double-double Friday night, pushing the Tornadoes past Spencer for their first victory of the season. / Photos by Trent Johnson.

STORM LAKE - The Storm Lake boy's basketball team snapped out of their three game skid Friday night, posting a season-high in points during a 54-35 win over Spirit Lake.

The Tornadoes got it done by holding Spirit Lake to a season low in points, 17 below their average coming into Friday's matchup. The green and white would give up just six points in the first, and three points in the second, on their way to a 31-9 halftime lead.

"We thought our defensive pressure on the ball was very good, and our help defense was very good," said Storm Lake head coach Bob Grant. "We didn't give them a lot of second chances. Did a good job on the defensive boards. One single digit quarter is something but to have two, wow. We were really getting after it."

It didn't hurt that the Tornadoes turned in their best shooting night of the season, hitting on 22-of-36 (61%) from the floor. They hit 6-of-13 threes but did struggle at the foul line where they were just 4-of-12.

"We were getting the shots we wanted," said Grant. "We were making those shots. Previous games we were getting the same shots but just not making them."

Yach Deng led three Tornadoes in double figures as he hit on 4-of-5 for 11 points and two rebounds. Ethan Kenkel hit 4-of-7 shots for 10 points to go along with 12 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Nic Seaman hit 4-of-5 for 10 points and seven rebounds, Aaron Krier had nine points on 4-of-9 shooting and added two assists, and Chase Lange and Geoff Converse chipped in with seven points apiece, finishing 6-of-7 from the field combined.

Spirit Lake (2-2) was led by 20 points from Alec Henrickson as he hit on 9-of-19 attempts. Paul Brown had 10 points. The Indians hit on just 15-of-49 from the field, 3-of-21 from three and 2-of-9 from the line.

Storm Lake moves to 1-3 with the win and will be at home tonight to take on Estherville-Lincoln Central (2-2), who is coming off a 46-42 win over Emmetsburg.

Tyler Swanson (8.7 points, 4.5 rebounds) and Matt Burrell (8.0 points, 7.3 rebounds) led the Midgets.

"We think we're a bad matchup for them, but at the same time, we have to be ready and not take them for granted," said Grant. "When we went up to Estherville last year, we said we need to get on them early. If you let them hang around, they get confidence. We want to jump on them early."

The Tornadoes won both meetings last year by scores of 64-53 on the road an 77-53 at home.

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