(Photo by Zach Jevne) [Order this photo]
Western Christian played like the No. 1 team in the state to open Friday's Lakes Conference matchup with Spencer in Hull. The Lady Wolfpack used pressure defense and its athleticism to jump out to a 33-7 lead after the first quarter as they stayed undefeated on the year with a 67-40 victory over the Tigers.
Western (10-0, 6-0 Lakes) shot 14-of-22 from the floor and forced 15 Spencer turnovers to gain the lopsided advantage in the first quarter. Western has lost just one game over the last two years and is 2A's defending state champs.
Spencer was able to play with Western much of the rest of the game, but the damage was done early on as the Tigers fall to 6-4 overall and 3-3 in the conference.
"After the initial shock of playing a team of this caliber, we settled down and from about three minutes left in the second quarter and the entire second half, it was some of the best basketball we've played in the last couple of years," Spencer coach Don Martindale said. "Credit where credit is due - (Western) is an outstanding team. Everything we've seen and heard about them is true; they've really got it going right now. There's no way for us to replicate their athleticism in practice, but we were very pleased with the effort, the kids never quit."
Spencer hung with Western in the second quarter, being out-scored just 11-10, for a 44-17 halftime score. The Wolfpack would go up 35 after nine straight points to open the second half to trigger the running clock the rest of the game.
The Lady Tigers continued working and would out-score Western 15-6 in the fourth quarter. Kirstin Martindale led all scorers with 17 and Heather Williamson added 12.
Eleven Western players scored, with Shae DeJager leading with 15. After the 14 made field goals in the first quarter, Western would only make 11 more shots from the floor.
Spencer plays three times next week, hosting Algona Monday, Sheldon Tuesday and Spirit Lake Friday.
SPENCER: Kirstin Martindale 17, Heather Williamson 12, Emily Burns 6, Madi Rost 3, Alexa Allen 2.
WESTERN: Shae DeJager 15, Alissa Pollema 11, Kim Kroeze 11, Brooke Wolterstorff 9, Erika Douma 6, Kelli Boer 3, Bethany VanLingen 3, Abby Pollema 2, Elissa Jansma 2, Kenzie VandeVegte 2, Summer Jansen 2.