AURELIA - The "third time was the charm" for the Aurelia and Pomeroy-Palmer basketball teams on Feb. 5, as the two teams finally managed to play a pair of Northwest Conference games which were delayed twice by Old Man Winter.
In the opening game, the Aurelia girls held a small lead throughout most of the game, and were ahead 34-28 going into the fourth quarter. The Knights outscored the Aurelia gals 17-7 in the last quarter though, to win the contest, 45-41.
Aurelia coach Tim Galvin said, "The key to this game was rebounding - which we failed to do. If we would have boxed out and boarded better, we would have set ourselves up with a better chance to win the game."
The game marked the Bulldog girls' last game of the regular season. They begin District tournament play tonight, as they face Galva-Holstein at Holstein. The two teams met in November at Aurelia, with the Lady Pirates coming out on top, 53-37. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs were up 32-24 at the half and 55-38 after three, but were outscored by the Knights 23-17 in the last quarter for the 72-61 final tally claimed by Aurelia. Coach Peck said he was "happy with the defense until the 4th quarter, but you know Pomeroy-Palmer - they hit four big threes to keep fighting and made us earn it all the way." Earn it they did, though, as the Bulldogs wound up winning for the fourth time in their last five games.
Peckenschneider said he was "very happy with our shooting, and our 13/16 at the free throw line." Peckenschneider jokingly said that he "had to make sure those were the Aurelia boys making free throws -" an allusion to the 'Dogs chronic poor performances at the charity stripe the past couple of seasons.
Individually, Aaron Bruce "played a solid game," in the coach's words. The junior scored 25 points and snared eight rebounds, pacing the team in both categories. Older brother Jared was not to be outdone though. Of his senior point guard, Coach Peck said, "Jared made some phenomenal plays and ran the break to perfection. He had another great game with 20 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds, and four steals." Greg Kolpin was also in double figures for the Bulldogs, scoring 10 points, and Camrin Meyer had eight points and five rebounds. The Bulldogs made 26 of their 48 field goal attempts (54.2 %) in addition to their 81% free throw shooting.
Brothers Tanner and Chet Freimuth led Pomeroy-Palmer in scoring with 13 and 10 points, respectively, and Peckenschneider called them "solid ball players."
As for his own team, Aurelia's coach said, "We have won four of our last five. We're starting to hit our groove, and the guys, as always, give 110% every game."
In conclusion, Peckenschneider said, "I am just real happy with the way we have been playing. We are very excited about the tournament, and want to surprise people again (as they did last season with an upset of undefeated Alta)."