Warriors survive East Sac County to move on
IDA GROVE - Earlier in the season the Alta-Aurelia Warriors boys took on East Sac County on the road and dropped a 12 point decision. They made up for it on Friday night, holding off the Raiders in a thrilling 52-51 victory to move to the 2A-District 15 final on Tuesday night.
“Our guys got off to a good start. We were able to execute inside of their zone. We were able to grow a lead in the second quarter with good patient possessions and taking care of the ball, only having four turnovers,” A-A Coach Evan Franzmeier said.
East Sac and Alta-Aurelia went back and forth through the first eight minutes of the game with neither team getting too much ground on the other. ESC held a point advantage going to the second quarter, 14-13.
The Warriors were able to take control of the game in the second frame as they managed to outscore the Raiders by five points. They enjoyed a four-point lead going to the locker room, 32-28.
Alta-Aurelia continued to build on their lead as their defense held ESC to just seven points in the third. The Warriors went to the final frame with their lead at seven, 42-35.
The advantage grew to as many as 10 in the final eight minutes for A-A, but East Sac began to chip away at the lead and eventually took a two point edge of their own at 49-47. Now playing from behind, the Warriors looked to senior Chandler Damewood as he delivered the game winning shot with five seconds left. A last second three from ESC was off the mark to seal the Warrior win.
“At half we twerked a few things on defense and offense. We were able to stretch the lead in the third and fourth quarters,” Franzmeier said. “We missed a lot of free throws allowing ESC back into the game. I am very proud of our guys execution during late game situations.”
A-A junior Anthony Krier led the way with 14 points to go with three assists and four steals. Damewood had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, seven of those coming on the offensive glass. Seniors Tyler Hanks and Aric Stephan had 10 points apiece, Hanks adding nine assists. Sophomore Cade Rohwer scored five points.
“They were composed and listened to every detail in the timeouts. Our guys played their hearts out and I couldn’t be prouder,” Franzmeier said. “Chandler Damewood made some big plays late. An offensive rebound and then the inbound score. Both were huge plays.”
A-A went 20-of-42 from the floor and hit four three-pointers. The Warriors struggled at the free throw line as they went 8-of-16. They had 22 rebounds, 16 assists, nine steals and two blocks.
Alta-Aurelia moves to 16-7 on the year. They will be in Cherokee on Tuesday night as they take on OA-BCIG for the 2A-District 15 championship at 7 p.m. The Falcons bested the Warriors earlier this season, 64-59.