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