MANSON - The Alta-Aurelia boys put up a tough fight here Thursday night in their Class 2A District quarterfinal game against host Manson-Northwest Webster, but in the end the Warriors fell to the Cougars by a final score of 72-64.
Ryan Friedrich led the A-A scoring attack with 16 points, and he received help from Neil Marshall with 13 points, A.J. Lange with 12, and Christian Weiland and Austin Glawe, who each scored eight points.
Brandon Wessel led three Cougars who scored in double figures with his 20 points. He was joined by burly Kayden Cue, who scored 19, and Brody Eischeid, who garnered 17 points. Glawe also paced the Warriors on the boards as he grabbed six rebounds.
Alta-Aurelia coach Dean Lietz summed up the game this way: "This was a hard fought game from beginning to end. We played a nice first half defensively, but were not smart offensively when we had a five-point lead. We should have had a bigger lead at half. The third quarter we struggled to score and Manson stretched it out to a 10-point lead. From that point, we cut it down to five on a couple of occasions, but couldn't get a turnover to get the margin to a one-possession game."
Coach Lietz said that he was "tremendously proud" of his team. The Warriors will lose Ryan Friedrich, Christian Weiland, Karl Kennedy and Doug Bonneson to graduation, but will have many starters and key reserves back from this year's team, which finished with an 11-11 record.