DALE—It was a big night in Dale Friday, as the top-ranked Pirates and Lady Pirates played host to the Christian Heritage Academy Crusaders. The Lady Pirates crushed the Lady Crusaders 61-44 before the CHA boys upset the Pirates 55-53.
The Lady Pirates jumped on CHA early and often and never looked back. The Lady Crusaders had no answer on either side of the ball for Dale as they sprinted to a 19-6 first quarter lead.
“We came out and played well from the word go tonight,” said Dale head coach Eric Smith. “The girls really wanted it.”
That want to really showed throughout the contest.
The Lady Crusaders tried to answer in the second quarter, outscoring Dale 15-10 to cut the margin to 29-21 at the half.
Dale answered the call in the third quarter as they held the Lady Crusaders to just five points in the quarter and countered by putting up 16 points to cruise to a 45-26 lead.
The Lady Pirates had four scorers reach double digits, led by Brenlee Sheppard’s 16 points. Sheppard hit two treys in the third quarter to help build the 19-point advantage. Lacey Savage netted 14 and Lindy Nowakowski scored a dozen. Danyn Lang was big off of the bench again for the Lady Pirates as she scored 11 points, including two three-pointers and eight of her points in the second quarter.
“I thought we really wore them (CHA) down,” said Smith. “The toughest team won tonight.”
The Lady Pirates, now 10-0, will have a short time to celebrate as they will take on the Class 4A top-ranked Elgin Lady Lady Owls tonight in the final of the weather-delayed Bison Invitational Tournament from last weekend. Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m.
In the boys' clash, the Pirates fell behind early and struggled to find their way back.
It took a while, but with :24 left in the game, Dallen Forsythe knotted the score on a driving layup at 53-53, but CHA had a final chance to steal the win.
The Crusaders' Ryan Langerman hoisted a three with :05 on the clock, missed it off of the back iron, but Zach Hale snatched the offensive board and converted the put-back for the game winner.
The Crusaders led 15-12 after the first quarter then took a 34-23 advantage in the half.
It was a tough shooting night for Dale, and it really reared its ugly head at the free throw line. The Pirates hit just five of their 11 second-half free throws.
Dale outscored Christian Heritage 16-10 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 44-39.
The Crusaders hit three treys in the fourth quarter and nine in the game to hold off the Pirates.
The Crusaders' Nate Nuthman led all scorers with 16 points and Hale added 12.
Gabe Gouge led Dale with 15 while Trae Thompson netted 12. Logan Woodruff chipped in for 11.
Dale heads into the holiday break with a 10-2 record and will travel to Latta on Jan. 4.