The Bunceton boys basketball team may have been short on numbers Friday against La Monte in the seventh place game in the Otterville Holiday Classic. But that didn’t stop the five who were on the court from beating the Vikings 58-47.
As for the Bunceton girls, they fell in a close game against Slater  in the third place game 49-46.
The Bunceton boys, improving to 5-6 on the season, had a great start against La Monte while leading 14-5 at the end of the first quarter and 31-17 at the half. Meanwhile, after La Monte outscored Bunceton 11-8 in the third quarter to cut the lead to back to 11 at 39-28, the Dragons came back and matched the Vikings with 19 points in the final period to win the game by 11.
Bunceton coach Dustin Ray said the boys played the whole game with five due to an injury in the week. “We earned ourselves an ironman win,” Ray said. “The boys moved the ball around very well and limited their turnovers against a quick La Monte team. We made the shots we were supposed to. Overall, I believe it was one of the best games that we had played all year.”
Dillon Alpers and Jason Burnett tied for the game high for Bunceton with 19 points each. Alpers also finished the game with seven rebounds and four steals while Burnett had five steals, two rebounds and two assists.
Layne Maddex chipped in nine points, 11 rebounds and two steals while Brayden Doyle added eight points, four rebounds and two assists and Dylan Flatt with three points, four assists, one rebound and one steal.
For La Monte, Zach Weber had 16, Cole Scott 13 and Gavin Johnson with 12. Carter Kniernschild chipped in six points.
As for the Bunceton girls, they led Slater 9-7 after first period’s end but was outscored 13-9 in the second quarter to trail at the half 20-18. Meanwhile, in the third quarter, the Lady Dragons rallied back again with a 12-9 advantage to go up by one at 30-29. Unfortunately for Bunceton, they were unable to hold on to the lead as Slater rallied back with a 20-16 scoring edge in the final period for the victory.
“We ran out of gas against Slater,” Ray said. “We had a lot of great moments but gave it away. Our shooting from the free-throw line killed us in this three point loss. I am very disappointed to take a loss in a game we should have won.”
Emilee Grioues had 18 points to lead all scorers for Slater. Madisyn Beeler chipped in 12, Abby Uhlieh 10, Amaya Cortez four, Kinley Smith and Jenna Hill each with two and Kirby Richards with one.
For Bunceton, who dropped to 3-8 on the season, Madelyn Myers finished the game with 13 points.
Taylor Burnett tallied 12, Chloe Moser 11, Cara Bishop eight and Maddie Brandes with two.
The Lady Dragons also finished the game hitting just 19 of 34 shots from the foul line while Slater was 3 of 6.