Fourth quarter burst helps Warriors get past Panthers

Monday, December 4, 2017
St. Mary’s junior Jake Heitman goes for a falling away shot as three Alta-Aurelia defenders attempt to swat the ball away. Heitman scored 11, but the Panthers fell to the Warriors, 59-50
Photo by CRAIG SHULTZ

STORM LAKE - The Alta-Aurelia and St. Mary’s boys put on a tight contest on Friday night in front of a raucous crowd in the Panther Pit as the Warriors used a huge fourth quarter to escape with a 59-50 win.

The Warriors took a 15-9 lead after the opening frame, but the Panthers wouldn’t go quietly in the second quarter, outscoring Alta-Aurelia to head to the locker room down by four, 28-24. St. Mary’s used their defense to slow down the Warriors in the third frame to take the lead going to the fourth, 38-37.

The score was notched at 40 all early in the final frame, but Alta-Aurelia put together an 11-2 run to build a nine-point advantage. St. Mary’s tried to battle back but was unable to get within five points the rest of the night following the Warrior run.

The Warriors were paced by senior Alex Snyder’s 14 points. Snyder had trouble finding the range, going 3-for-14 from the floor, but managed to hit free throws going 6-for-8. Junior Tyler Hanks had a double-double, scoring 11 points and came away with 12 rebounds. Senior Tayler Gano was the third AA player in double figures with 10 points. Senior Jordan Gano added nine points and six rebounds and senior Jaden Henrichs added eight points.

Alta-Aurelia went 18-for-53 from the floor, hitting five three pointers and 18 free throws in 30 attempts. They pulled down 36 rebounds and were active in the passing lane with 11 steals.

The Panthers were led by senior Will Hurd and his 12 points. The 6’11’’ center hauled in eight rebounds and swatted six shots while altering more. Junior Jake Heitman had 11 points off of the bench to go along with a pair of steals. Junior Alex Merten had 10 points and a team high four assists. Junior Dawson Miller had nine points on 3-for-4 shooting from distance.

St. Mary’s went 18-for-40, 5-for-13 from behind the arc, but just 9-for-17 from the free throw line. They had 22 rebounds, six assists and six steals.

Alta-Aurelia improves to 2-0 and will host 1-2 Sioux Central on Tuesday night. St. Mary’s begins their season with a loss and will look for their first win on Tuesday night when they host 2-0 Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Aryshire.

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