Indians top Tornadoes at home
Spirit Lake picked up a convincing home win over conference rival Storm Lake Friday. The Indians topped the Tornadoes 62-36 in Lakes Conference girls hoops action.
The victory came less than 24 hours after a 40-point road loss to ninth-ranked (4A) Le Mars.
"I thought we came out and played really hard, especially coming off a tough loss to Le Mars last night," Spirit Lake coach Naet Hoaglund said. "I am proud of the way our girls flushed it and bounced back tonight. It was really fun to watch our girls get after it on both sides of the ball. I'm just really proud and happy for these girls."
Spirit Lake took control early, jumping out to an 18-11 lead after one quarter of play and pushing the advantage to double digits with a 10-6 score in the second. The Indians led Storm Lake 28-17 at the half.
Spirit Lake kept the pedal to the metal in the second half, outscoring the visitors 17-9 in the third and 17-10 in the fourth to make it a 26-point difference at the final horn.
Karli Olsen led the Indians with 16 points, seven assists, four steals and four rebounds on the night.
"Karli Olsen was terrific," Hoaglund said. "She was all over the place on defense getting steals and deflections. She saw the floor well and made some great passes that lead to scores and for her to come out and hit four three-pointers was huge."
Cameron Quance finished with 12 points, four assists and two steals.
"Cameron Quance stepped up big tonight," Hoaglund said. "She knocked down some big free throws early to get into a nice rhythm. She made some nice passes to get us some good looks and she was very active on the defensive end."
Jordyn Hamm had 14 points, two steals and two blocks. Emma Loveall had nine points, seven rebounds, three steals and a block.
Mikia Kriener pulled down eight rebounds to go with eight steals.
"Mikia Kriener got us going early with her energy on the defensive end and on the rebounds," Hoaglund said. "She anticipated passes and was active in the passing lanes. Her energy lifted the play of others around her."
Hoaglund was also pleased with the play of senior Maddie Vierkant, who finished with four points, three assists and a steal.
"Maddie Vierkant had a solid game as well," he said. "She was aggressive on the offensive end and really looked to attack. She allowed us to break down their defense a little bit which led to open looks for others. She was able to knock down a couple of her own shots as well, so that's really awesome to see.
Overall, I'm just really happy for this group of girls to get this win for our seniors, Mikia, Maddie and Cam on senior night," Hoaglund continued. "These girls mean so much for our program and for them to get this kind of result on their night is awesome. All three of these girls are terrific role models in our school and community. They are everything that we want our program to represent. I couldn't be more proud of their contributions to this program and our community."
With the win, the Indians improved to 10-9 overall and 7-4 in conference play. They returned Tuesday in a road contest with fourth-ranked (2A) Cherokee (19-1, 10-1).
Spirit Lake will begin postseason play Saturday, Feb. 9, at home against Estherville Lincoln Central (10-10, 4-7).