(Photos by Michael Fischer)
The Spencer boys couldn't buy a bucket from beyond the arc Friday night, and that's exactly what they needed to send the game into overtime against Western Christian. Instead, Michael Gabhart's three bounced off the rim and the Tigers couldn't get it kicked back out for another attempt as they lost their third in a row, 58-57.
Matt Finnern's layup as time expired made it a one-point final score. Spencer was 2-of-19 from beyond the arc, while Western Christian (No. 2 in 2A and 18-1) hit 7-of-15 attempts from distance.
Spencer trailed the entire first half, including a 32-25 deficit at halftime. After falling behind 10 early in the third, the Tigers rallied to take their first lead with two minutes left in the third, 38-37. It was Spencer's only lead of the game, but it was tied at the end of the third quarter.
Gabhart's three with five minutes remaining made it a 52-51 game, but that's as close as Spencer would get until the time ran out.
"We've experienced all of these things now that have hurt us late in games but we're learning from them as we go forward," Petzenhauser said. "It really shows the growth of the guys."
Finnern led Spencer with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and gave Western's wing defenders a handful keeping the shifty junior in front of them.
"Matt's learned from his football experiences that this is the time to try and elevate his game, and he's been doing a good job of that for us," Petzenhauser added.
Matthew Klemme notched another double-double with 17 points (9-of-13 FTs) and 16 rebounds. Gabhart scored seven and grabbed seven rebounds, while Tanner Morris also had seven points with six boards and five steals.
Western's Michael DenHerder scored a team-high 19 points (7-of-9 FTs). Kyle Fopma and Taylor Feenstra each added 11 points in the win.
Spencer will finish the Lakes Conference portion of its schedule on Tuesday, Feb. 5 when it travels to Spirit Lake to face the Indians. The Tigers will play Harris-Lake Park on Thursday, Feb. 7 and Sioux City East on Feb. 14.
SPENCER: Matt Finnern 21, Matthew Klemme 17, Tanner Morris 7, Michael Gabhart 7, Blake Altenhofen 4, Weston Glienke 1.
WESTERN: Michael DenHerder 19, Kyle Fopma 11, Taylor Feenstra 11, Josh VanLingen 7, Jordan Folkerts 6, Ryan LeLoux 2, Jordan VanMaanen 2.