Tiger girls clip Spirit Lake, slip against Algona

Sunday, January 28, 2018
Spencer’s MacKenzie Bruning drives the baseline during the Tigers’ 39-38 win over Spirit Lake at home Friday night. Spencer hosted Algona Saturday, falling 59-46. (Photo by Nate Shaughnessy)

The Field House had little time to air out this weekend with the Tigers hosting Lakes Conference rival Spirit Lake Friday night and non-conference foe Algona Saturday afternoon. Spencer’s girls pulled off a thriller Friday, squeaking past the Indians 39-38 before succumbing to a group of Bulldogs that has now won 11 of its last 12 games by a score of 59-46.

The Tigers found themselves in a quick 14-7 hole Friday night before making it a three point game early in the second at 16-13.

Spirit Lake finished the first half strong to lead 26-18 at the break following a Katie Moser triple with six seconds left on the clock.

The Indian offense went missing in action out of the locker room, scoring just one point in the third to allow Spencer, which wasn’t setting the nets on fire, to tighten it up to a 27-25 game going into the fourth.

About a minute into the final stanza, Keeley Petzenhauser fed Julia Feldmann with a dime to tie the game at 27 and proceeded to steal the inbounds pass, attack the basket and draw free throws which put the Tigers up 29-27.

A MacKenzie Bruning 3-pointer with 4:09 on the clock put the Tigers in front 32-28, but Spirit Lake answered with a 7-0 run to move in front 35-32 with under two minutes to go.

Feldmann tied it up out of a timeout with three the hard way, and following a defensive stop, Petzenhauser powered through contact to lay in two points for a 37-35 lead.

Bruning ended up being the one at the charity stripe with 8.8 seconds remaining, and the ice in her veins kept the ball from hitting anything but the threads as she made it a two-score game at 39-35.

Spirit Lake hit a corner triple with 1.2 to go, but a long inbounds pass by the Tigers easily dispatched the rest of the clock in the 39-38 win.

Petzenhauser finished the game with a team-high 16 points. Moser added seven.

Saturday’s game stayed close early, but a high-powered Algona offense simply got too many chances, pulling away for the 59-46 win.

“We need a little bit of fight throughout the game,” Spencer girls basketball coach Matt Stevenson said of the Algona game. “When their shots went up, I think the box-outs were even there. It was just the desire to go get the basketball. Algona wanted every single loose ball, and that’s the difference. The desire to go get that ball is what we needed. Had we done that, that’s a game we can win.”

Spencer started strong with a 10-6 lead midway through the first but gave up a 7-0 run to finish the frame to trail 13-10. Algona started letting it rain in the second, climbing out to a 32-22 halftime lead.

“It’s a good team they have,” Stevenson said. “Their guards can really shoot it, and they had some kids step up. (Kameryn) Etherington (who scored 14 points off the bench) is averaging three a game. It’s kind of a pick your poison with them. If somebody’s not making it, somebody else probably is, but if you limit the second chance opportunities, that’s a whole different game.”

The snowball started rolling in the third as the ‘Dogs stretched the lead to 52-32 in the third. Spencer doubled up the visitors 14-7 in the fourth, but the 59-46 loss had largely already been decided.

Petzenhauser scored a game-high 24 points for the Tigers.

The busy weekend moves Spencer’s overall record to 6-11 and conference record to 4-6. Lakes Conference play continues Tuesday night in the Field House against 3A No. 4-ranked Cherokee which beat the Tigers 70-35 in the middle of December.

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