Indians upset No. 10 Tornadoes
Spirit Lake used some stifling in-your-face defense to surge past Class 3A No. 10 Storm Lake for a 59-37 win Friday, Dec. 9 in Lakes Conference play.
After a back and forth first half that saw the Tornadoes outscore the Indians by nine in the opening quarter and Spirit Lake rally back with an 18-9 run in the next stanza, the final 16 minutes featured a complete team effort by the Indians. SL held a 35-13 scoring advantage in the second half and outscored Storm Lake by 31 in the final three quarters.
"We executed better defensively. I think our missed shots were affecting our defense (in the first quarter)," said Spirit Lake coach Nate Loenser. "We were getting good looks early that were not falling and as the game progressed we got better in both areas."
The Indians (3-1 overall, 1-1 in the Lakes) got double digit scoring efforts from Wes Bergquist, Sawyer Harms and Paul Brown, aided by a 40-20 scoring edge in the paint. SL won the rebounding battle 25-19 and shot 60.5 percent from the field. They also connected on 11-of-13 free throw attempts.
"We worked hard offensively to get the ball into good scoring areas and to share the basketball," said Loenser. "Defensively, we stressed containing penetration and blocking out."
Spirit Lake's defense held Storm Lake to 52 points less than they put up last Tuesday in a 95-89 overtime loss to Class 2A No. 2 Western Christian. The Tornadoes were just 14-of-49 (29.2 percent) from the floor and 4-of-16 from the perimeter.
Loenser was proud of how his squad bounced back from a tough loss to Le Mars and even more challenging first quarter against Storm Lake.
"We had two very good practices after the Le Mars game and the kids did a great job of listening and executing what we worked on," said Loenser. "I was proud of how our team responded to the adversity of losing to Le Mars and how we started the game against Storm Lake."
Bergquist finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Harms collected 13 points and eight boards while Brown chipped in 13 points, three assists and three rebounds.