HOLSTEIN - The Aurelia Bulldogs brought their "A" game to town Thursday night, as they played with confidence and beat a previously-undefeated and seventh-ranked Galva-Holstein Pirate squad by a 62-59 score in exciting boys non-conference basketball play here.
The game was hard-fought and close all night, with Aurelia holding a 15-13 edge at the first quarter break, and maintaining that two-point margin when Gabe Fuller sank a basket at the buzzer to give the 'Dogs a 31-29 lead at halftime.
Coach Bob Lee's Pirates outscored the Bulldogs 20-10 in the third stanza to take a 49-41 lead into the fourth quarter, but Bulldog Coach Grant Peckenschneider's gritty team fought back and took the game to the final buzzer, outscoring the Pirates 21-10 in the final quarter. Jared Bruce hit clutch free throws in the closing seconds to seal the Bulldog victory.
The Pirates' Elijah Miller, Wayne State-bound after this, his senior season, canned 24 points to pace Pirate scoring, but he was by no means the whole show for G-H. John Dentlinger added 13 points and Adrian Tracy 12, including two three-point goals, to give the Pirates three double-digit scorers.
The 'Dogs also had three players score in double digits, led by senior Jacob Bruce, whose 20 points included three treys. Gabe Fuller scored 15 hard-earned points, mostly on the inside, and sophomore Aaron Bruce netted 12.
Dentlinger and Miller had nine and eight rebounds, respectively, to lead their team in that category, and Miller had three steals on defense. Fuller led Aurelia on the boards with nine, and Aaron Bruce grabbed seven. Jared Bruce led in assists with six.
Pirate coach Bob Lee said, " We came out very flat, and struggled shooting the ball. Aurelia hit some tough shots early, and continued to play with confidence throughout the game."
"We played our best game of the season," said a happy Aurelia coach Peckenschneider. "The boys played their absolute hearts out. We had some tough losses early in the year and we deserved to win this game. The guys never gave up and fought to the end and won the game."
In the opener, the Aurelia girls took a 47-34 verdict over the young Lady Pirates in a game that was not as close as the final score would seem to indicate.
Coach Marv Munden's Bulldogs had a 14-4 lead after one quarter and were up 27-8 at the half.
Coach Munden was pleased with his team's defensive effort, saying the Bulldogs "did a good job of making them take tough shots."
Galva-Holstein coach Ken Slater's team had a very balanced scoring attack, with eight players scoring between three and six points each, led by Brandi Wagoner and Sam Grayson's with six apiece.
The Bulldog teams travel to Sioux Rapids on Tuesday to face Sioux Central, while the Pirates and Lady Pirates go to Odebolt to face Odebolt-Arthur.