High flying Storm Lake downs Monarchs
STORM LAKE - After a tough opening night loss on Tuesday night, the Storm Lake boys’ basketball team went home looking for some home cooking on Thursday evening against Denison-Schleswig. Storm Lake kept up the scoring ability but the defense was able to ward off a run from the Monarchs in the second half on a few occasions to pull out a 78-66 win and were led by senior Mach Nyaw’s 29 point effort.
“I thought that we moved the ball well and were the aggressors for three-fourths of the game. We have a lot of different guys that can score and anytime you get all seven guys to contribute things are going to look pretty good,” SL Coach Heath Stille said. “Mach did a great job of getting to the rim to help get our energy up and going. I also think that his effort, just like everyone else’s, was at a high level.”
The Tornadoes and Monarchs battled through the majority of the first eight minutes, trading baskets back and forth. D-S had a slim lead at 15-14 but Storm Lake started to go on a run and ended the quarter with a seven point lead, 22-15.
The green and white kept building their lead with three point shots in the second quarter. The Storm Lake faithful were brought to their feet twice in the frame with two thunderous alley-oops to senior Malga Yanga. Storm Lake held a 15 point lead at the break, 41-26.
Denison-Schleswig got the ball rolling in the third quarter as they began to go inside to their 6’8’’ big man, Goanar Biliew. D-S got the Storm Lake lead trimmed to single digits on a couple of occasions but the Tornadoes carried a 10 point lead to the fourth, 57-47.
“Our guys did a good job of not getting rattled as they made their run, and we were able to slow things down on a few possessions to get a better look,” Stille said. “I was glad that our guys responded.”
Storm Lake continued to keep the Monarchs at arm’s length through the rest of the quarter, building their lead back to double digits on a few occasions. D-S cut the SL lead back down to eight in the final minute, but the green and white connected on their free throws to seal the win despite a 26 point second half effort from Biliew.
“I thought we did a good job in the first half of keeping him under control and making him miss some shots that he made in the second half. He also got a few easy baskets off offensive rebounds in the second half,” Stille said. “We had a great effort and intensity for a majority of the game and got a little lazy in the third quarter and got lazy boxing out and allowing second change points, so that is an area to concentrate on in practice.”
Nyaw’s 29 point effort saw efficient shooting numbers as he made 61 percent of his shots and dished out 10 assists for a double-double. Cham Deng added 15 points and a team high six rebounds. Yanga had 12 points, four rebounds and three blocked shots. Senior Ethan James had four points, four assists and a handful of big offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter.
“Ethan has done a great job for us so far and has a ton of heart and hustle that allows him to make some plays that most people do not think that he can,” Stille said. “He does an awesome job of attacking the rim for offensive rebounds and getting on the floor after loose balls.”
Storm Lake hit over 50 percent of their shots, 31-of-60 and went 9-for-22 behind the three point line. The team made all seven free throw attempts and had 18 assists and eight steals.
The Monarchs were paced by Biliew’s double-double of 26 points, 12 rebounds and he had five blocks. Storm Lake gave up 23 offensive rebounds to Denison-Schleswig.
Storm Lake improves to 1-1 and will have a pair of road games this week. Tonight they head to Emmetsburg and will then go to rival Spencer on Friday night.