(Photos by Zach Jevne) [Order this photo]
It took the Spencer boys just a few minutes to figure out Estherville Lincoln Central's defense, and when they did, the rout was on.
Spencer (5-0, 2-0 Lakes) got 18 points from Matt Finnern and cruised to its second Lakes Conference win, 68-39, over ELC Friday night in Estherville. Senior Michael Gabhart hit four 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 14 points.
ELC (2-3, 1-1 Lakes) started the game in a zone to attempt to limit the touches of Spencer forward Matthew Klemme. Gabhart was able to loosen the zone with long-range shooting and the Tigers created transition offense with forced turnovers.
"When we're hitting shots like that it makes us tough to guard. If opponents try to take away Matthew inside and we have guys knocking down threes, it adds another dimension to our offense," Petzenhauser said.
The Tigers led 16-10 after the first quarter and expanded the lead to a comfortable 37-20 by halftime behind 21 second-quarter points. In addition to Finnern and Gabhart, six other Tigers scored, including 13 from Klemme and nine from Tanner Morris. Spencer hit a season-high seven 3-pointers in the game. The previous best was six in the opener versus Sioux Central.
Other notable plays: Gabhart drew two charges in the second half and Klemme finished a two-handed dunk to start the fourth quarter.
Matt Burrell led ELC with 16 points.
Spencer will play two more road conference games next week, traveling to Emmetsburg (1-3, 0-2 Lakes) on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and to Le Mars (3-0, 2-0 Lakes). Le Mars beat Emmetsburg Friday night, 44-34.
SPENCER: Matt Finnern 18, Michael Gabhart 14, Matthew Klemme 13, Tanner Morris 9, Blake Altenhofen 5, Jalen Ohnesorge 5, Nigel Nielsen 2, Jordon Plueger 2.
ELC: Matt Burrell 16, Evan Hansen 10, David Hughes 5, Joe Heinrichs 3, Adam Reiter 2, Rod Fuller 2, Brad Olsen 1.