The Storm Lake St. Mary’s girls basketball team prevailed 37-31 Friday night over West Bend Mallard at the Panther Pit.
A 12-0 run in the 1st half put the Panthers in control. They led by as many as 13 during the 2nd quarter, and carried a 26-15 lead at the half.
West Bend Mallard fought back, getting as close as two on two different occasions in the 2nd half, including within 30-28 early in the 4th, but Lizzie Lenhart came up big with a basket, and soon after a pair of free throws to give the Panthers breathing room.
Lenhart, the Wells Ag Supply of Fonda Player of the Game, led all scorers with 20, including 9 of 11 at the line. Olivia Schaller chipped in with 12.
The St. Mary’s girls, having not played a varsity schedule last year, get their first win since February 9th of 2016, which came at West Bend Mallard. They’re now 1-3 on the season, dropping the Wolverines to 0-5.
St. Mary’s seniors Schaller, Kallie Goettsch, and Abby Jones, along with Coach Derek Varner, who gets his first coaching victory, all spoke afterwards…
A late rally by the St. Mary’s boys wasn’t quite enough, as West Bend Mallard held on 45-42.
West Bend Mallard took the lead for good at 10-9 to end the 1st quarter, and they led 23-17 at the half.
The Panthers struggled offensively to start the 3rd quarter, and WBM went up by as many as 18 late in the 3rd. St. Mary’s pressure defense helped get them back in it. Cale Murray hit a three, and Will Hurd followed with an old-fashioned three-point play to cap a 17-1 run to make it 40-38. The Wolverines were able to cash in enough times at the line the rest of the way, as three free throws made it a five point game. A Dawson Miller free throw for the Panthers cut it to 43-39 with 42.7 seconds left. WBM then hit two more at the line the rest of the way, and a Tanner Snyder three at the buzzer provided the final margin.
Murray had 9 points to get the Wells Ag Supply of Fonda Player of the Game. Hurd also had 9, and Snyder ended up with 10. St. Mary’s goes to 0-3, and WBM is now 2-2.
The St. Mary’s teams will play at Sioux Central on Tuesday, which will be broadcast on Mix 101.7FM KAYL.