DES MOINES - It's been a great run for the Estherville Lincoln Central girls' basketball team.
But the third-ranked Midgets met their match in top-ranked Davenport Assumption in Friday's 3A championship game.
The Knights jumped out to a 21-8 first quarter lead and never looked back in the 62-40 victory to win their third straight title.
Allie Sievert along with teammate Emily Kirchner was named to the Class 3A All-Tournament Team.
Photo by StevePope.com
After shooting lights out from 3-point range in the semifinal against Cascade, the Assumption mostly went inside against ELC to start the game.
While the Midgets may not have played their best game, Assumption was just too strong on both ends of the floor.
ELC's Allie Sievert and Emily Kirchner were both named to the 3A All-Tournament Team. Assumption point guard Danielle Moore was named the All-Tournament Team Captain and teammates Hailey Schneden and Kate Fennelly along with MOC-Floyd Valley standout Alexis Conaway were also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Assumption proved as quick as billed in the first quarter; especially in their point guard Moore.
"She's the fastest player we've seen all year," said ELC coach Tony Klein. "Their defense also was fast. A couple times we're turning around and there's a girl right there."
ELC got off to a slow start for the second game in a row while the Knights seemed to be able to hit everything. They led 8-1 before Allie Sievert finally hit consecutive baskets.
The highlight of the first quarter was a basket at the buzzer by Casey Sievert that made the score 21-8.
Assumption kept the pressure on in the second quarter and got their biggest lead on a 3-pointer by Riley Behan, 32-14, with just under 2 minutes left in the half.
But Kirchner came back with five straight points. First she drove into the midst of the defense to score a layup and get fouled. She missed the free throw, but rebounded her own miss and put back and was fouled again. This time she made the free throw as ELC cut the deficit to 32-19.
But Assumption still had 3 seconds left in the half and the Knights' point guard, Danielle Moore, drove inside the arc, fired up a shot and was fouled by Macy Dahl. Moore made one free throw to make the half-time score 34-19.
The Knights shot a blistering 50 percent (11-of-22) in the first quarter. Unlike their semifinal against Cascade when they had eight first-half 3-pointers, Assumption had just two against ELC in the first 16 minutes. Hailey Schneden was 5-of-7 from the field with 12 points in the first half while Moore had 11 points.
ELC, which had made 22-of-24 free throws in their semifinal game, was just 5-of-10 from the free throw line.
The Midgets never got closer than 14 points in the third quarter.
ELC had its biggest scare when Heywood went down with 1:40 left in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, she was back on the bench with her ankle wrapped.
Meanwhile, the Midgets could never quite make a run.
Allie Sievert fouled out with 3:46 left in the game. Kirchner fouled out a minute or so later.
Kirchner finished with 14 points to lead ELC. She also had eight rebounds.
Allie Sievert had nine points and nine rebounds. Casey Sievert finished with seven points, Maggie McCauley had six, Heywood had two and Dahl and Megan Jensen each had one.
Schneden led the Knights with1 6 points while Moore had 13 and Maddie Irmen had 12.
The Knights shot 20-of-46 from the field and 18-of-24 from the free-throw line.
ELC shot 25 percent from the floor (11-of-4) and finished 16-of-26 (62.5 percent) from the free throw line.
The Midgets finish the season with a 23-4 record.
ELC says farewell to his six seniors-Allie Sievert, Casey Sievert, Emily Kirchner, Sara Heywood, Macy Dahl and Maggie McCauley.