Tigers run away in 2nd half

Thursday, December 13, 2012
Spencer's Matthew Klemme lays in two of his 17 points Tuesday night in a 60-39 win over Emmetsburg. The Tigers are 6-0 on the season, ranked No. 8 in 3A, and travel to Le Mars Friday night. (Photos by Zach Jevne)

Pressure defense allows just 13 points in second half of 60-39 win

Emmetsburg started the game hot and Spencer couldn't buy a bucket in the first quarter, but the undefeated Tigers would eventually get to the E-Hawks and coast to a 60-39 win Tuesday night in Emmetsburg.

Tanner Morris scored 19 points with six rebounds and Matthew Klemme scored 17 with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals to secure a 6-0 record on the season, 3-0 in the Lakes Conference. This week's AP poll has the Tigers ranked eighth in Class 3A.

Spencer's Tanner Morris (23) and Matt Finnern trap Emmetsburg's Mike Myers during Tuesday's Lakes Conference win over the E-Hawks, 60-39. Spencer's full-court pressure allowed them to hang in the game during the first half and blow open the game in the third quarter, allowing just 13 points in the second half.

Spencer turned to its full-court press to create some more scoring opportunities when their shots weren't falling, especially at close range in the first quarter, as the Tigers shot just 4-of-17 in the first eight minutes, yet only trailed 12-11.

Spencer matched Emmetsburg's first-half energy, which was playing without its leading scorer Jake Jackson due to injury, to take a slim lead into halftime, 28-26. The pressure defense got to Emmetsburg in the third quarter as Spencer opened a 47-31 lead.

"We thought the full-court press was an area we could take advantage of," head coach Kory Petzenhauser said. "We had a lot of live ball turnovers; we just didn't cash them in on the business end. We had no complaints with the shots we got, but it doesn't matter how great a look is if you're not putting it in the basket."

Due to the numerous close-range misses, the Tigers grabbed a season-high 14 offensive rebounds. Spencer shot 24-of-59 for the game, including 3-of-13 from three. They were 9-of-13 from the line.

Spencer will now face its biggest test of the season Friday night in a trip to Le Mars (3-1, 2-1). The Bulldogs won the Lakes last season and are coming off their first loss of the year Tuesday night (vs. No. 2 Western Christian, 69-65).

Le Mars beat Spencer twice last year - 62-45 in Spencer and 66-38 in Le Mars. The Bulldogs are led in scoring by Jake Irwin at 17.5 per game.


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SPENCER: Tanner Morris 19, Matthew Klemme 17, Blake Altenhofen 8, Matt Finnern 7, Jalen Ohnesorge 5, Nigel Nielsen 2, Chris Anderson 2.

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