AURELIA - The Aurelia Bulldogs played a non-conference doubleheader with River Valley here on Thursday night, and a strong second half by the Bulldog boys enabled the home team to earn a split of the two games.
In the girls opener, River Valley went ahead with less than two minutes to go in the first quarter and held the lead the rest of the way, winning the game by a final score of 56-40.
None of the Bulldog girls reached double figures, as they were led by Kaitlin Sandine with nine points. Freshman Meghan Glawe added eight points and classmate Audrey Winterhof had seven. Glawe also pulled down a whopping 15 rebounds, and Sandine, a senior, grabbed 10 caroms. Erin Laursen and Leah Kai each had six boards. Kai had an off-night shooting, but did have six assists and six blocked shots to make her contribution in that manner.
In the boys contest, the Bulldogs started kind of slow, but before the night was over, had turned in what their coach Grant Peckenschneider called their "best game from start to finish all year."
Point guard Jared Bruce had what the coach called a "phenomenal" game, registering a triple double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Coach Peck said Bruce's "effort to get boards among guys 5-6 inches taller than him was a real treat to watch."
Jared's brother, Aaron, led the Bulldog scoring attack with 16 points, while sophomore Nick Hirschman had 12, and Cam Meyer scored 10, giving the 'Dogs four players in double figures. Like Hirschman, junior Anthony Fowler came off the bench to provide a scoring spark, contributing seven points to the Bulldog cause.
Peckenschneider said "overall it was a real good win for us, going into two tough games against Laurens-Marathon and Alta."
The Bulldog teams were scheduled to travel to Laurens on the following evening (Friday) for a conference matchup with the rangy Laurens-Marathon Chargers, and on Tuesday the Alta girls and the undefeated and number one-ranked Cyclone boys come to Aurelia for another Northwest Conference doubleheader.