(Photos by Michael Fischer)
Spencer ended its three-game losing streak by outscoring Spirit Lake 17-2 in the third quarter and blowing the game open in the second half to win the Lakes Conference match-up, 55-30, Friday night in Spencer.
An even game in the first half, Spencer led 23-19 at halftime, gave way to defensive dominance by the Tigers as they shut out Spirit Lake for nearly eight straight minutes. Spencer used ball movement to create easy baskets as they pulled away in the second half.
The Tigers got double-figure scoring from three players, led by Matthew Klemme's 18 points and 11 rebounds. Matt Finnern hit three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points, while Tanner Morris scored 10 points with six assists.
"We were really efficient in the second half. In the first half, we were trying to jam it into Matthew (Klemme) a little too much, but in the second half our ball movement was much better, which opened up the floor," Petzenhauser said.
The victory puts the Tigers back in the win column for the first time in the New Year. Spencer improves to 8-4 overall and 5-2 in the Lakes Conference. Spirit Lake is also 8-4 overall but falls to 3-4 in the Lakes.
The Indians were led by Alec Henrickson's eight points as no Spirit Lake player reached double figures. They were held to 10 or fewer points in all four quarters.
In addition to the outstanding defensive effort by the Tigers, they turned the ball over just seven times on the night and the Indians recorded just one steal and no blocks. The Tigers shot 5-of-10 from three and were 19-of-36 from the floor.
Spencer will face Cherokee on the road and Estherville Lincoln Central at home next week as the Lakes Conference schedule begins for the second time through next Tuesday.
SPENCER: Matthew Klemme 18, Matt Finnern 13, Tanner Morris 10, Michael Gabhart 5, Jalen Ohnesorge 3, Blake Altenhofen 2, Jordon Plueger 2, Weston Glienke 2.
SPIRIT LAKE: Alec Henrickson 8, Paul Brown 5, Trevor Smith 5, Cole Thate 4, Sam Harms 3, Alex Pringnitz 2, Zach Arneson 2, Tyler Alger 1.