CHEROKEE - After beating Cherokee 61-13 back on Dec. 14, Class 3A, No. 3 Estherville Lincoln Central had a little more trouble with the Braves in the teams' second meeting on Friday.
Maggie McCauley started for Sara Heywood, who was held out for precautionary reasons, and most the most of her extra time on the court.
She hit four 3-pointers in the contest and finishes with a game-high 18 points in ELC's 56-40 victory.
Cherokee tried to limit the Midgets' scoring with a zone defense and held an early 8-5 lead.
But McCauley's first 3-pointer of the night tied the game and then Macy Dahl hit a half-court shot before the first-quarter buzzer to give ELC an 11-8 lead.
Casey Sievert hit a 3-pointer early in the second quarter to help ELC lead 16-8, but it took a couple 3-pointers by McCauley to help ELC stretch its advantage to 24-12 later in the period.
Cherokee made a run at the end of the half though to cut the deficit to 26-20.
The Braves rallied in the third quarter and cut the deficit to two, 30-28.
McCauley responded with her fourth trey of the night that sparked a 9-0 ELC run. Emily Kirchner Casey Sievert and Allie Sievert all scored baskets in the run as ELC led 39-28 after three quarters.
Cherokee got as close as eight in the fourth quarter, but the Midgets made free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Kirchner and Casey Sievert each had 12 points while Allie Sievert had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Dahl finished with four points.
Megan Hummel led Cherokee with 13 points.
ELC was 14-of-21 from the free throw line compared to Cherokee's 3-of-6.
The Midgets (16-2 overall, 10-1 in the Lakes Conference) travels to Spirit Lake on Friday.
Editor's note: Emily Kirchner was named Radio Iowa's Class 3A INS Player of the Week. She averaged 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals in a pair of wins. Kirchner scored 26 of the Midgets 37 points in a victory over Spencer. She also hauled down seven rebounds and recorded two steals.
Also, after her 12 points at Cherokee, Kirchner has 990 career points.