STORM LAKE - The Alta-Aurelia boys faced a tough task when they traveled to Storm Lake to face the second-ranked Storm Lake St. Mary's Panthers in a Twin Lakes Conference basketball game. The Warriors hung tough, trailing St. Mary's by a 40-26 score at the half before the Panthers roared to a final 76-41 win.
"I was really proud of the way our guys started the game, " commented A-A coach Randy Bissen. "We came ready to play and gave great effort. We handled their pressure and made some shots early. Defensively, we really tried to make it tough for Luke (Lenhart) and Kennedy (Drey) but when you have Joe Sandhoff, Josh Demers, and Dillan Smith making a bunch of outside shots, it makes them tough to beat."
Colton Ballantyne and Jayden Van Berkum each scored 10 points to lead Alta-Aurelia, while Ross Friedrich scored eight and dished out five assists. Mitchel McDonald scored seven points and grabbed five boards, Titus Letzring also had five rebounds, and Jayson Van Haaften had four assists.
Sandhoff had 27 points for St. Mary's, including 7 of 10 shooting from behind the 3-point arc, while Drey had 18 points, Both players also had 10 rebounds. Josh Demers (12 points) and Dillan Smith (11) also scored in double figures for the Panthers (9-0), and Smith dished out 11 assists.
Alta-Aurelia takes on Southern Calhoun County on Friday before hosting Cherokee in Alta on Monday in non-conference action.