(Photo by Michael Fischer)
"It was a tale of two halves," Spencer coach Don Martindale said. "In the first half, defensively, we couldn't have played much better. In the second half, the wheels fell off, so to speak, and it started with the turnovers. We set back on our heels too much, especially in the fourth quarter. Newell-Fonda is a quality team. As long as we learn from it, we can make it a positive."
Spencer opened the first quarter with an 8-0 run, while not allowing the Mustangs to get on the board until seven minutes into the game. Turnovers plagued both teams in the first half with each team committing 12.
The Spencer defense held All-State point guard Renee Maneman to 1-10 shooting to start the game, and used it to build the halftime lead.
However, Newell-Fonda - a state-qualifier last year - began to cut into the lead with the help from two 3-pointers from Brianna Wells. The Mustangs took its first lead of the game with 2:20 left in the third quarter, which they wouldn't relinquish.
Newell-Fonda out-scored Spencer 18-9 in the third quarter and 20-7 in the fourth. Maneman, despite the early-game shooting woes, finished with 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting and 6-of-9 from the foul line. The junior also grabbed five rebounds and had four steals.
"They exploited our weaknesses," Martindale added. "We need to do a better job on the turnovers and staying out of foul trouble."
Spencer finished the game with 20 turnovers, while Newell-Fonda committed just two in the second half and finished with 14 on the game. Spencer was whistled for 21 fouls, including Kirstin Martindale and Heather Williamson fouling out, compared to Newell-Fonda's 12 fouls.
Martindale led the Tigers in scoring off the bench with 14 points, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range and eight rebounds. Alexa Allen added eight points. Taylor Anderson finished with three points, six rebounds and five assists.
The next game for Spencer will be at Sioux Central on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. in Sioux Rapids.
Kirstin Martindale 14, Alexa Allen 8, Kelsey Rolfes 4, Taylor Anderson 3, Taylor Glover 2, Emily Burns 2, Kari Kramer 1, Heather Williamson 1.
Renee Maneman 16, Andrea Christensen 9, Brianna Wells 8, Claudia Larson 6, Hailey Falline 4, Jordan Wilken 3, Taylor Lago 2.