LAKE PARK - Trailing by a point to start the fourth quarter, Estherville Lincoln Central's full-court pressure began to take a toll on host Harris-Lake Park.
The Midgets surged ahead with a couple early steals and baskets and then began knocking down 3-pointers to pull away for a 74-61 in the season opener on Tuesday.
Joe Heinrichs finished with a team-high 25 points while Justin Heinrichs scored 23 to help coach Corey Christopher earn his first victory as the Midgets' head coach.
ELC’s Justin Heinrichs (31) finds some open room between three Harris-Lake Park defenders on Tuesday as teammate Kyle DeVary watches for a rebond opportunity.
Photo by David Swartz
"The guys could found ways to lose, but they found ways to make plays," said Christopher. "They battled hard and played with a lot of intensity."
Like in Friday's jamboree exhibition game against Bishop Garrigan, ELC got off to a slow start in the first quarter.
H-LP jumped out to an 8-0 lead before Joe Heinrichs knocked down a 3-pointer. ELC kept battling and trailed by just one when the ELC senior hit his second trey to make the score 15-14.
But the Wolves answered with two 3-pointers one by Cole Bosma and then another by Jordan Kyle at the buzzer to take a 21-14 lead.
ELC again battled back early in the second quarter with 3-pointers by Alex Miller and Justin Heinrichs to kept the game close.
ELC finally took the lead with time winding down in the half on an 8-foot jumper by Kyle DeVary as the Midgets had a 31-30 advantage heading into the locker room.
Justin Heinrichs started the third quarter by tipping in a miss by Rod fuller and following with a steal and layup as the Midgets led 35-30. The Midgets led by as many as six, but H-LP tied the game at 43-43. After two baskets by the Midgets, the hosts scored the final five points of the period to lead 48-47.
Justin Heinrichs scored seven of the first 10 points of the final period with Joe Heinrichs also hitting a 3-pointer to put ELC up 57-50.
But Carsten Bosch, who had been quiet offensively, scored eight straight points on a pair of wide-open 3-pointers and a layup off an assist from David Hughes to help ELC lead 65-54.
Joe Heinrichs followed with his fifth 3-pointer of the night and then Hughes made a layup to give the Midgets their biggest lead at 70-54.
A three-point play by H-LP's Kyle stopped the Midget run, but the hosts could get no closer.
Bosch finished with eight points while Fuller had seven, DeVary and Hughes each had four and Miller had three.
ELC finished 11-of15 from the free throw line while the Wolves were 17-of-25.
ELC (1-0) is at Forest City on Thursday.
Forest City 80, ELC?52
FOREST CITY - Forest City just couldn't seem to miss against Estherville Lincoln Central as the Midgets struggled to find the range in an 80-52 loss to the Indians on Thursday.
The two teams were tied at 5-5 early on in a fast-paced game when Forest city finished the opening frame with a 17-1 run to lead 22-6.
ELC began hitting some shots in the second quarter, but just played even with the Indians who led 40-24 at the break. Forest City equaled ELC's scoring in just 3-pointers with eight treys in the first half.
ELC coach Corey Christopher said the goal was to get the deficit within eight points in the third quarter.
"I think we got it to 12 and then had a couple possessions where we came up empty," he said.
The Indians heated up before the end of the period and stretched the lead to 54-35.
Forest City continued its hot shooting in the final frame, pouring in 26 points.
"Give Forest City credit," said Christopher. "They had a nice basketball team and they shot the basketball extremely well. But we did a poor job defensively and missed some switches and assignments also.
Justin Heinrichs led ELC with 14 points and was the only Midget to connect from three-point range where he was 3-of-7. The rest of the team was 0-of-11 from beyond the arc.
David Hughes recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Carsten Bosch tossed in eight points, Joe Heinrichs had six, Rod Fuller had four, Kyle DeVary, Clay Tredway and Sergio Osornio each had two and Alex Miller had one.
ELC (1-1) is home against Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire tonight.
The Midgets have three games next week with Pocahontas Area at home on Monday, Spencer at home on Tuesday and away at Storm Lake on Friday.