"From the first game of the season, going up there and getting beat 82-31, we've come a long ways," said Coach Barry Borchers of the girls' November 20 loss at Spencer. "We still ended up getting beat by 20, but that at least shows improvement from the start of the season until now."
The first quarter was a closely fought battle, with the Lady Bulldogs trailing only 8-5 after the first eight minutes of action. In the second quarter, however, the Tigers found their game and ran with it, taking a 26-9 lead at half-time.
The second half story was much of the same for Le Mars, who trailed 41-17 after the third quarter and fell 55-28 in the end.
"We played extremely hard for all four quarters," Borchers said. "We made some mistakes and missed some shots, but Spencer's a good team and they're senior-dominated. When you're playing young kids against a team like that, you tend to get a game like this."
One big story of the night came from behind the charity stripe. The Lady Bulldogs went to the line 26 times and sunk 14 of their shots. The Tigers hit 17-of-35 from the line.
"We didn't score a lot of points the way it was," Borchers said. "We've been shooting free throws really well [previously] but we didn't shoot them too well this particular night."
Shooting from the field, Le Mars sunk only seven of 32 attempts while the Tigers netted 18-of-36.
Tara Lehner netted nine points for the Lady Bulldogs while Emily Anderson recorded seven.
The Tigers won the battle of the boards, 30-20. Le Mars was led by Kelby Klein with eight and Jordan Heidebrink with six.
Heidebrink, Cassie Lassen and Erica Westhoff each had three steals. The Lady Bulldogs committed 24 turnovers while Spencer recorded 17.
"We competed way harder in this game than we had since the Christmas break," Borchers said. "If we continue to compete like this, we'll win some games.
"We're happy with the effort and we want to carry that on to the Cherokee game."
The Lady Bulldogs will play on the road against Cherokee on Tuesday night.
"It's someone we've already beaten," Borchers said. "They're a lot more like us--they're young and they've had their struggles this year also. It should make for a good game."