STORM LAKE - The Aurelia Bulldog boys and girls took on the St. Mary's Panther teams for the second time this season here January 26th , in Northwest Conference basketball action.
In the opener, the Bulldog girls were down 22-15 at the half, and were down by as much as 11 points in the third quarter. Bulldog coach Marv Munden said he was proud of the way the girls fought back to within three with a minute to go in the game, but in the end, St. Mary's scored 12 of the last 14 points, and took a 52-43 win over Aurelia.
Junior Leah Kai tallied 19 points to lead the Bulldog attack, and senior Kristine Munden scored 11. Emily Sonksen had eight points. Munden led Aurelia rebounders with seven, Tara Fordyce had four assists, and Kai had three steals.
The Bulldog girls shot 61 percent from two-point range (17 of 28), one of four three-point attempts, and were six of eight from the free throw line, as their conference record dropped to 3-8, and their overall mark to 7- 10.
Jamie Imming scored 18 points for St. Mary's, and Abby Richardson had 15.
The Aurelia boys took a 32-24 lead into halftime here against St. Mary's on Friday, then outscored the Panthers 21-2 in the third quarter to break the game open, enroute to a 62-42 Northwest Conference victory.
Tanner Winterhof paced Bulldog scoring with 17 points, while sophomore post man Aaron Bruce, whose play Aurelia Coach Grant Peckenschneider called "by far the biggest surprise of this season," tallied 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the 'Dogs.
Guard Ross Fitzgerald hit a couple of three-point baskets in scoring eight points, and Peckenschneider said, "it was good to see him hit a couple of threes." Gabe Fuller also snared seven rebounds for Aurelia, matching his point total.
Jacob Bruce had his second straight solid all-around defensive game, holding St. Mary's Devin Landgraff to 10 points, one night after holding WLVA's Chris Wordehoef to nine. Jon Foell had 11 points to lead the Panthers
The third Bruce brother, junior point guard Jared, had "a great game," said Peckenschneider, with five assists, five steals, and five points - and, oh, by the way, the next day, Jared went to Sioux Center with the AGH wrestling team, and won one of his four matches, wrestling for the first time since junior high.
Aurelia made 58percent of its two-point field goal attempts and 46percent of its 11 three-point attempts for a total 24/44 shooting for 55 percent. The coach said the Bulldogs had two big problem areas in the game - turnovers and free throw shooting - "24 turnovers is too many," said Peckenschneider. "Granted, most were aggressive, but that is too many, even for our tempo of ball."
Once again, the Bulldogs were woeful at the charity stripe in Friday's contest, sinking just 7 of 26 for 27 percent.
"That," said the coach, "is unacceptable. That MUST improve by tournament time."
The Bulldogs play once again on Thursday night this week, a non-conference tilt at Laurens-Marathon, and have Friday off.