"We competed tonight," LCS coach Dave Irwin said. "That's all I can ask. We played hard, we played well. We just got beat."
The Bulldogs were off to a good start and senior Gabe Rahn and Kyle Dolph gave their team a 4-2 lead. But the Wolfpack answered and went on a 9-0 run.
The Wolfpack again gained an edge and finished the quarter with an 18-15 lead.
Senior Parker Rolfes started the second period with a three to tie the game once again.
Both teams were dead even in the following minutes and the lead changed constantly. The 'Dogs managed to pull ahead three times, but Western Christian always came right back.
Le Mars was down 32-35 at halftime.
As soon as the second half started, the teams picked things up right where they had left off. The Wolfpack maintained a slight lead for the majority of the time. The 'Dogs tied the game twice but Western Christian scored five unanswered points to finish the stanza ahead 54-47.
Those seven points were the largest lead for either team on the night, and Le Mars made sure it didn't last long. Dolph scored on two consecutive possessions to get the Bulldogs within three again.
Things remained evenly matched between the two teams and both sides made some big defensive stops.
With just under 40 seconds left to play, the Wolfpack was up by four points until Le Mars senior Brenden Collins knocked down a huge trey to get the 'Dogs within one.
Le Mars could not get a defensive stop on Western Christian's possession and had to foul. The Wolfpack made both free throws to pull ahead by three points.
With 18 seconds left on the clock, the Bulldogs had one last chance to send the game into overtime.
Collins again put the weight on his shoulders but his contested shot did not go in as the clock expired.
"Brenden has hit some big shots in the past. I'd give him the basketball again in that situation," Irwin said.
Le Mars went 23-of-35 from the floor and had three players in double figures. Sophomore Tyler Borchers scored 17, followed by Rahn with 13 and Dolph with 10. Junior Jake Irwin contributed four assists.
"Gabe Rahn played his best basketball game of his career tonight," Irwin said. "He was outstanding defensively. He also attacked the basket strong offensively and made some nice plays. Tyler Borchers gets better every single game. Believe it or not, I think we're just starting to scratch the surface of his talent."
Borchers also led his team defensively with five rebounds. Rolfes had three steals.
Coach Irwin said he was pleased with the effort his entire team put into the game.
"It is no fun to lose, especially when you play well," he said.
The Bulldogs (10-4) will travel to Spencer (11-4) on Friday.
"If we can take the same approach that we had tonight to the next game and to the rest of the season we're going to be a tough team to deal with," Irwin said.