The Le Mars basketball teams resumed MRAC play in a doubleheader at Bishop Heelan on Tuesday night.
The Bulldog girls ended up with a tough loss to the fourth-ranked Crusaders by a final score of 60-50.
Le Mars led for the entire game up until the final two minutes when they allowed the Crusaders to score 12 unanswered and win. The Bulldogs started out the game confident and rode that to a strong performance for most of the game. Head Coach Cody Dyhrkopp says he was proud of the way his team competed.
The Bulldogs faced foul trouble and a tight double team on Sarah Brown that forced other players to step up. Jaelyn Marienau was one of the top scorers with nine points off the bench as one example of the key contributers. Coach Dyhrkopp says the contest was an outstanding showing of team basketball.
Le Mars now falls to 8-7 on the season, but that does not tell the whole story. Six of the seven losses for the Dogs have come to ranked teams and a few were by single-digit margins. Coach Dyhrkopp says the main thing is for his team to stick together and keep working for the end of the season.
The Bulldogs dropped to 6-4 in the MRAC with the loss. Bishop Heelan improved to 12-2 and 9-1 in the MRAC.
On the boys side, the Le Mars boys snapped out of their eight-game losing streak in a big way with an upset win over the sixth-ranked Crusaders of Bishop Heelan by a score of 62-49.
The win was a long time coming for the Bulldogs who had not won a game since December 16th when they beat Sioux City North at home. Head Coach Dave Irwin says it was just nice to have something positive go his team’s way.
The Bulldogs came out firing going 7-7 from the field to start the game and led 18-10 at the end of the first quarter. A lot of those points came under the basket and in the lane where Le Mars had struggled scoring in prior games. Coach Irwin says his team finally stepped past the lack of confidence and got those shots to drop.
On the defensive end, the Bulldogs held Bishop Heelan to their lowest scoring output of the season at 49 points. The defense has never been in question for the Bulldogs this season having held teams to lower points totals. Coach Irwin says his guys have set a high bar for the effort needed on defense.
The Bulldogs now get a chance to start a winning streak with a matchup at Council Bluffs TJ on Friday night. Coach Irwin says it is important to not get overly confident heading into a game with a tough team.
The Bulldogs are now 3-11 and 3-7 in the MRAC. Andrew Fifita had 18 points to lead three Bulldogs in double figures on offense. Bishop Heelan fell to 11-4 and 6-4 in the MRAC.