Estherville Lincoln Central saw an 18-point lead nearly slip away against Emmetsburg on Tuesday, but the Midgets held on for a four-point win, 46-42.
Unlike ELC's first two games against Harris-Lake Park and Forest City, the Midgets started the night patient on offense and it paid off with made baskets.
Tyler Swanson made an opening 3-pointer and Matt Burrell got inside for a couple baskets as ELC led 10-2.
Estherville Lincoln Central’s Brad Olsen gets inside for his lone bucket as he converted a three-point play in the Midgets’ win over Emmetsburg on Tuesday.
EDN photo by David Swartz
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Evan Hansen and Swanson gave ELC a 13-4 edge with 3:09 remaining in the first period.
The Midgets pushed their advantage to 17-4 after two free throws by Hansen and a layup by Adam Reiter and led 17-6 after one quarter of play.
"That was an excellent first quarter," said ELC coach York Plagge. "The guys were patient and the threes were still there the second and third time around."
ELC scored the first five points of the second quarter with Burrell getting free on a breakaway layup and Brad Olsen converted a 3-pointer play on an offensive rebound.
But Emmetsburg continued to battle, scoring the next six points and trailed 24-17 with 2:07 left in the half. ELC scored the final three points to keep a double digit lead, 27-17.
The Midgets started the second half the same as the first.
After a long first possession, Hansen finally set up and hit a 3-pointer. Burrell then found Swanson on a cut to the basket and moments later Swanson hit a 3-pointer to give ELC a 35-17 lead.
ELC kept the 18-point advantage until the E'Hawks scored the final six points of the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 39-27.
ELC still had an 11-point advantage when Hansen hit a 3-pointer with under 4 minutes left in the game, 44-33.
Emmetsburg's Michael Pugh answered with a trey of his own and Austin Krause made a pair of baskets over the next couple minutes while ELC's offense stalled.
With the score 44-40, Hansen twice went to the free throw line for a one-and-one, but came up empty. Joe Heinrichs entered the game and then hit two free throws to push the advantage to 46-40 with 12 seconds remaining. Emmetsburg's Brandon Elbert hit a 16-footer, but time ran out on the E'Hawks.
Burrell led ELC with 13 points and eight rebounds. Swanson and Hansen each finished with 11 points while Reiter had four, Olsen had three and Heinrichs and Tucker Milburn each had two.
ELC was 8-for-15 from the free throw line while Emmetsburg was just 1-for-3.
The Midgets (2-2 overall, 1-0 in the Lakes Conference) host Spencer on Friday. The Tigers were 3-0 entering their game with Cherokee on Tuesday.