SPIRIT LAKE - The North Union boys gave themselves a chance at victory against Spirit Lake in a Class 2A first-round game on Monday.
But some late turnovers and an offensive lull allowed the Indians to pull away in the final frame for a 47-30 victory.
"I think it was a combination of making some baskets and finally getting some stops," said Spirit Lake coach Nate Loenser.
North Union’s Colton McConnell looks inside for a cutter as Spirit Lake’s Alex Pringnitz (24) gets ready for anything in Monday’s Class 2A first-round game.
EDN photo by David Swartz
For most of three quarters, the Warriors were matching the Indians basket for basket and led 26-24 with 3:21 remaining in the third period.
But the game changed when North Union senior Shane Mills picked up two quick fouls and had to leave the game with four.
After a free throw by Spirit Lake's Trevor Smith, the Indians' Alex Pringnitz closed out the quarter with six straight points to give the Indians a 31-26 lead.
North Union's Aric Runge scored a quick layup to start the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to three, but the Warriors didn't score again until the final minute with two free throws by Jacob Braddock. Meanwhile, Spirit Lake's Paul Brown started a 14-0 run with a 3-pointer and a layup followed by a 3-pointer by Alec Henrickson and a three-point play by Pringnitz. A basket by Brown and a free throw by Pringnitz put the Indians ahead 45-28.
The first quarter saw Spirit lake jump out to a 4-0 lead. North Union's Colton McConnell and Pringnitz exchanged 3-pointers. Later a basket by Braddock cut the lead to 8-7 for the first quarter.
Braddock scored a layup on an assist from Mills to give the Warriors their first lead of the night at 9-8 to start the second quarter. Matt Adams then scored to give the visitors an 11-8 advantage. But Pringnitz responded with a 3-pointer to tie the game and started a 6-0 run.
McConnell and Mills both hit shots to get the lead back at 15-14, but Henrickson responded with a 3pointer. Mills tied the game at 17-17 with 2:53 left in the half.
A free throw by Tyler Alger proved the difference at the break, 18-17 Indians.
Mills and Brown exchanged baskets to start the third quarter and McConnell hit a 3-pointer to put North Union up 22-20. The lead continued to seesaw until Mills' basket gave the Warriors the 26-24 advantage.
Henrickson led Spirit Lake with 16 points while Brown and Pringnitz each finished with 13. Alger and Sam Harms each had two points and Smith had one.
Mills led the Warriors with 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal. McConnell finished with eight points, Braddock had six, Runge had four and Adams had two. Adams also had three rebounds and two assists. Runge had four rebounds and a blocked shot.
North Union ends the season with a 4-19 record. The Warriors say farewell to seniors McConnell, Mills and Adams.
Spirit Lake (15-7) hosts Okoboji in the second round at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Pioneers won 58-55 over Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn. Spirit Lake defeated Okoboji 53-41 in Milford on Jan. 12.