Mike Stetson, Sports Information Director
FOREST CITY, Iowa – The Warriors put on quite a show for their fans in their season debut Thursday night at the Hanson Fieldhouse.
The only problem with the night proved to be the final outcome as Mount Marty spoiled an otherwise outstanding night, topping the Waldorf men’s basketball team 86-82 in non-conference action.
“That was a heck of an opening game,” Waldorf head coach Nigel Jenkins said. “A lot a back and forth between both teams.
“We had our chances, but couldn’t capitalize in the end.”
Ten lead changes in the final 10 minutes made for a dramatic contest, one that kept more than 300 Warrior fans on the edge of their seat rooting for their team.
Down 11 points in the first half, Waldorf (0-1 overall) kept fighting and eventually grabbed a 65-64 lead with a little more than 9 minutes left to play in the game on a Quincy Minor Jr layup.
That started the see-saw struggle down that stretch that saw a Brady Kuchinka 3-pointer put Waldorf up 71-70 with 8 minutes to go, and a Tahir Ramseytip-in gave the Warriors an 80-78 lead in the final 3 minutes.
But the Warriors couldn’t stretch that lead as Jonah Larson answered with a 3-ball for the Lancers, leading to one of those many lead changes.
A Demitrius Martin bucket with 2:18 put Waldorf temporarily back in front, 82-81, but that’d be the final points of the night for the Warriors.
The guest Lancers took their final lead with a Colby Johnson hoop-and-harm 3-point play, then iced the win with two more Johnson free-throws, which capped a disheartening finish for the Warriors.
“We played hard,” Jenkins said, adding looking ahead, “we will have to be better tomorrow to give ourselves a chance against a very good team.”
The Warriors next play at No. 25-ranked Dordt at 8 p.m. on Friday, part of a women’s and men’s basketball doubleheader between Waldorf and the Defenders. The Warrior women play the 5th-ranked Dordt women at 6 p.m. on Friday.