Tiger press not enough against ‘Dogs

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Spencer’s Trevor Finkbeiner (left) and Kade Carpenter try to trap Le Mars’ JT Engebretson during the Tigers’ 69-57 loss to the Bulldogs in the Field House Tuesday night. (Photos by Nate Shaughnessy)

Spencer opened Lakes Conference play on the Field House floor Tuesday night, looking to use what’s becoming a trademark approach of constant full-court pressure, defensively and offensively. Visiting Le Mars gladly accepted the challenge, pulling away in the second and third quarters for a 69-57 win over the Tigers.

“You look at the two teams on the floor, they’re very similar,” Spencer boys basketball coach Kory Petzenhauser said. “It’s just concentration, effort and focus. That was a game where that team wanted it more than our team did. ... Some of that early was the fact we weren’t getting anything out of our pressure. We were actually giving up too much out of our pressure, and they had some guys that didn’t make shots in their first game that made shots tonight.”

Le Mars’ unexpected ability from the perimeter had a domino effect on the rest of the Spencer defense.

“That forced us to stretch defensively, and when we stretched defensively, then we lost some ability to get defensive rebounds and stop dribble penetration,” Petzenhauser said. “We had to close out a little longer and things like that, so (there are a) lot of things we have to work on.”

Spencer’s offense started well, taking an 18-15 lead by the end of the first, but the aggression faded as Le Mars pulled in front 39-35 at the break.

“A lot of that had to do with our approach tonight. I thought when we went in at halftime that we were very passive on the offensive end in the first half,” Petzenhauser said. “The guys weren’t committed to really attacking them off the bounce. We’d get bumped a little bit and just pull it back out. Or, we’d catch it at the rim, get a little bump and miss a layup. I thought mentally and physically we weren’t very tough tonight which is something we’ve got to work on.”

The Bulldogs put the brakes on the pace in the third quarter, outscoring Spencer 11-5 in those eight minutes.

Points picked up in the fourth, and the Tigers cut it to an eight point game at 50-42 on a Chase Hough drive with 7:05 to go.

Le Mars scored the next eight points, and the gap never got back down to single digits.

Hough led the way on offense for Spencer with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting. His five rebounds and four assists were also the most on the team.

Colin Slattery scored 14 with the help of a 4-for-5 night behind the arc.

Spencer made 23-of-48 field goal attempts, including 7-of-15 from downtown for a 48 percent night from the field. The Tigers made 4-of-8 at the charity stripe.

The loss drops Spencer to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in conference play. More Lakes action comes Friday night in Storm Lake. The Tornadoes are 3-0 this year with close wins over Sioux City North (65-57), Denison-Schleswig (46-43) and Emmetsburg (50-44).

Spencer’s Chase Hough attacks the basket, getting an improbable shot to fall.
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