EVERLY - "Turnovers killed us in the first half," said Aurelia coach Grant Peckenschneider, summing up his team's 59-36 District tournament loss here on Feb. 19 to the host Clay Central-Everly Mavericks.
Aaron Bruce's three-point basket accounted for all of the Bulldog scoring as they fell behind 13-3 at the close of the first quarter. It was 28-14 in the Mavs' favor at the half, and they outscored the 'Dogs 17-4 in the third period to take a commanding 45-18 lead heading into the fourth.
Peckenschneider said, "Give (CC-E) coach (Gordie) Jorgensen credit. They put pressure on us and we struggled with it. We played pretty good defense for most of the game, but when you have turnovers like that which lead to easy buckets, the good defense goes out the window."
Summing up the season, Peckenschneider said, "Our guard play was a struggle all year, and it hurt us tonight. We tried to get it down the court into our big guys but had trouble. We asked a lot of Aaron this year, handling the ball so much for us, (thus) taking him out of the post.
"We had eight seniors out this year, including three who had never played before. I appreciate all their hard work this season."
CC-E, which beat the Bulldogs by just five points on the Aurelia floor nine days earlier, moves on with an excellent 20-3 season record, and will play George - Little Rock, 42-20 winners over Harris-Lake Park, in the District semi-final at Everly on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. The winner of that game will meet the winner of the Feb. 24th Ruthven/Ayrshire - Armstrong/Ringsted game in Okoboji on Feb. 26 for the District championship.