St. Mary's got off to a strong start in the first quarter with a five point lead, and the Panthers were able to hit some big shots early and get an early lead that Alta-Aurelia was never able to overcome. Though St. Mary's lead was between 10-12 points most of the game, A-A did cut the lead down to 7-8 points at times. St Mary's was able to knock down their free throws all night, however, and the Panthers wound up with a 55-41 win.
Alta-Aurelia coach G.G. Harris commented "What a game! It ended up being a 14-point game, but the intensity of the game was as if it was a 1- point game the whole night. Both teams played hard. The game was physical and full of momentum swings, and we would continually get ourselves back into the game, but (Panther) Hannah Sitzmann repeatedly made big shots when they needed them and got herself to the line."
Jenna Snyder and Valarie Hernandez each scored 11 points to lead Alta-Aurelia's offense and Cristena Heschke scored nine. Snyder, Valarie Hernandez and Alexis Hernandez each took down five rebounds to lead the Warriors on the boards, and Valarie Hernandez also dished out five assists. She and Steph Robbins each had three steals as well.
Hannah Sitzmann had an exceptional game for St. Mary's with 35 points, 16 rebounds,and four assists, and Jasmine Demers added 12 points and snared 14 rebounds, giving St. Mary's two players who had double-double performances.
After the game, an excited Coach Harris said, "The atmosphere of tonight was very exciting, and good for our girls to be in that type of environment. Of course, we would've liked to have been the one to come out on top, however it is another learning experience for these girls, and the nice thing is we get to see them (St. Mary's) one more time before the season ends. I don't like to make guarantees or gamble, but if I did, I would bet on Alta-Aurelia next time around."
Alta-Aurelia, now 2-9 on the season, plays South Central Calhoun tonight at Rockwell City.