In a back and forth battle, the Storm Lake boys basketball team fell just short in their 3A district opener 50-49 at #6 Spirit Lake on Tuesday night.
The game was tied at 11-11 after the 1st quarter. There were seven lead changes during the 2nd quarter, and the Tornadoes were up 24-21 at the break. Storm Lake went on an 8-0 run to take their biggest lead at 40-32 late in the 3rd, which the Indians cut in half entering the 4th.
Spirit Lake took the lead back on a Mason McCaffery three 48-45. Malga Yanga scored for the Tornadoes to make it a one point game. After a steal, Storm Lake regained the lead on a Lamar Mulgae basket. With 14.5 seconds left, Frankie Ramos hit consecutive free throws to give Spirit Lake a one point advantage. The Indians deflected a pass out of bounds on the Storm Lake side of the floor with 2.6 seconds left. After each team called a timeout, a Storm Lake layup opportunity fell short at the buzzer.
Cham Deng turned in 16 points to lead the Tornadoes, and Yanga followed with 11.
Storm Lake Coach Heath Stille talked after the game…
Alex Van Dyke led Spirit Lake with 16. The Indians star post player, Owen Coburn had 8, all in the 1st half. Coburn did not play in the 2nd half due to injury.
Spirit Lake (17-5) will host Sergeant Bluff Luton in the semifinal round on Thursday.
Storm Lake’s season ends at 11-10. The Tornadoes ten seniors shared the Wells Ag Supply of Fonda Player of the Game. They include Choul Gatluak, Sami Damanhoury, Brayden Hoops, Mure Werge, Mulgae, Kevin Duque, Michael Knapp, Trace Turner, Kabba Padamula, and Nick Slagle.