With two more wins this week, the Estherville Lincoln Central boys basketball team is off to its best start since the 2008-09 season when the Midgets started 5-0.

After wins over North Union and Cherokee, ELC is now 6-2 overall and 1-1 in the Lakes Conference. The Midgets wrap up the 2013 portion of this season's schedule at Spirit Lake on Saturday. Game time is 4:30 p.m.

ELC runs away

#### Article Photos

ELC’s David Hughes (32) soars in for two points against North Union’s Aric Runge (15) on Monday in Estherville.

Photo by David Swartz

from Braves, 79-47

For once, Estherville Lincoln Central got off to a very quick start. The Midgets jumped out to a 12-2 lead against Cherokee and never were really threatened in Tuesday's 79-47 victory.

After the Braves hit the first basket of the night for their only lead, ELC scored the next 12 points while Carsten Bosch scoring twice with baskets by Clay Tredway, Noah Diekmann and David Hughes along with two free throws from Joe Heinrichs.

ELC was without the services of Justin Heinrichs on this night due to health issues.

The Midgets maintained that advantage and led 18-7 after one quarter.

ELC stepped up the offense even more in the second quarter with Hughes scoring 10 of his game-high 21 points in the period as ELC took a 43-25 lead into the lockerroom.

Neither team had made a 3-pointer in the first half, but both Joe Heinrichs and Hughes knocked down shots early in the third period to build a 53-29 advantage at one point. ELC led 63-36 after three quarters.

Hughes finished with a double-double for the second consecutive night as he also had 18 rebounds. Bosch also had a solid night with 18 points, five steals and four assists. Joe Heinrichs contributed 17 points along with eight rebounds and four steals. Noah Diekmann chipped in eight points, Alex Miller had xi, Clay Tredway had five and Kyle DeVary had four.

Midgets pull away from Warriors, 81-59

North Union hung with Estherville for most of the first half on Monday, but the Midgets quickly pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring the visitors 27-11 to build a 64-43 lead to start the fourth quarter.

ELC was without the services of starter Justin Heinrichs, who was out with some health issues, through the first 11 minutes of the game. North Union was able to take a 17-16 lead after one quarter and led 20-16 when Alex Krantz hit a 3-pointer from the corner to start the third quarter.

"Give them (North Union) credit," said ELC coach Corey Christopher. "They executed well in the opening of the game."

But ELC came storming back, coming up with an 8-0 with two 3-pointers by David Hughes and a basket by Alex Miller to take a 26-22 lead. Heinrichs then entered the game and immediately hit his first shot to give ELC a 29-22 advantage.

"Justin had some health problems tonight," said Christopher. "He went with the trainer and then came out and said he'd give it a try."

North Union rallied to tie the game with a basket by Kaleb Olson, another trey by Krantz and two free throws by Aric Runge that made the score 29-29. ELC outscored the visitors 8-3 to end the half and led 37-32.

Heinrichs hit his second 3-pointer on the first possessions of the second half followed by a basket by Hughes to push the lead to 10, 42-32. But Runge answered with a basket followed ay a 3-pointer by Jacob Braddock to get the lead back to five. North Union got as close as three, 44-41 off another basket by Runge. But ELC's offense never slowed and the Midgets led by 10, 53-43 when Runge went to the bench with his fourth foul with 2:39 left in the third quarter.

ELC finished the quarter with an 11-0 run, started by Heinrichs with contributions from Hughes, Carsten Bosch and Kyle DeVary and concluding with a trey by Heinrichs.

ELC then scored the first eight points of the final period-six by Hughes- to stretch the lead to 72-43.

Hughes finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds while Heinrichs scored 17, Bosch had 14 and Noah Diekmann had 10. Joe Heinrichs, Miller, DeVary and Bryce Mann each had four points.

ELC finished 26-of-40 from the free-throw line while North Union was 9-of-18.

Runge led the Warriors with 23 points while Krantz had 10. Braddock chipped in nine Trent Pedersen had six, Parker Oleson had three and Nathan Eaton, Olson, Colin Runksmeier and Corey Vaske each had two points.

North Union earns first win, 82-36

North Union got in the win column with an 82-36 victory over Clay Central-Everly on Tuesday.

Aric Runge scored 20 points and Jacob Braddock had 14 to lead the Warriors.

Trent Pedersen, Kaleb Olson and Colin Runsksmeier each tossed in eight points while Nathan Eaton had six, Dyson Umscheid had five, Braden Ortman had four and Parker Oleson, Corey Vaske and Eythan Blair each had three.

The Warriors shot 34-of-59 from the filed and were 12-of-21 from the free throw line.

Titans end 2013 part of season at 5-1

RUTHVEN - The Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire boys defeated Laurens-Marathon 77-46 on Thursday.

"This was a very well played game by the Titans both offensively and defensively," said GTRA coach Randy Hough.

Connor Sturgill led the Titans with 27 points and 10 rebounds while Andy Geelan also had a double-double of 22 points and 16 rebounds along with eight assists.

Noah Stukey chipped in eight points while Taylor Enderson had six, Jared Sikora had five, Joe Tonderum had four, Lane Reiman had three and Ryan Jacks had two.

GTRA (5-1 overall) begins 2014 on the road against Harris-Lake Park on Tuesday, Jan. 7

Warriors earn first win against CCE

ARMSTRONG - North Union finally got into the win column with an 82-36 victory over Clay Central-Everly on Tuesday.

Aric Runge poured in 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Jacob Braddock made 6-of-9 from the field as he finished with 14 points. Trent Pedersen, Colin Runksmeier and Kaleb Olson each had eight points while Nathan Eaton had six points, Dyson Umscheid had four, Braden Ortman had four and Parker Oleson, Corey Vaske and Eythan Blair each had three.

Braddock also had four assists and three steals. Runksmeier had four steals and Runge had three.

Titans heat up against Warriors, 77-40

GRAETTINGER - After scoring the first 26 points against North Union, Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire simply cruised to a 77-40 victory over the Warriors on Friday, Dec. 13.

The Titans seemed like they couldn't miss, hitting layups, jumper, 3-pointers and free throws. Noah Stukey and Lane Reiman each hit 3-pointers in the run. Pot player Connor Sturggil had at least eight points during that stretch.

Aric Runge finally broke the Warrior's draought with a layup with 2:15 left in the first quarter, but the visitors trailed 33-5 after one period.

"We played the bench liberally from there," said GTRA coach Randy Hough. "I was very happy with the balanced scoring."

GTRA led 52-21 at halftime and 66-35 after three quarters.

Andy Geelan led the Titans with 14 points including 8of-11 from the free throw line. He also had 10 rebounds and seven assists. Sturgill finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. Taylor Enderson, Reiman and Stukey each had 11 points while Mason mcGrauth had nine, Joe Tonderum and Nick Josephson each had four and Jared Sikora had one.

Colin Runksmeier led North Union with 14 points while Runge had 12. Trent Pedersen chipped in seven points, Ryan Larson had four, Dyson Umscheid had two and Kaleb Olson had one.

Top-rated HWC beats Spirit Lake 85-62

Class 2A No. 1 Western Christian jumped out to a 25-5 lead against Spirit Lake and cruised to an 85-62 victory over the Indians on Tuesday.

The Wolfpack led 48-28 at halftime and the two teams played even in the second half.

Alec Henricksen led Spirit Lake with 25 points with Bill Brown and Trevor Smith each scoring nine. Kyle Fopma led Western Christian with 25 points while Tayler Miedema had 17.

Spirit Lake edges Crestwood, 52-50

SPIRIT LAKE - The Spirit Lake boys improved to 3-1 on the season with a 52-50 win over Crestwood on Friday.

Alec Henricksen led the Indians with 19 points while Trevor Smith tossed in 12 and Bill Brown had 11.

Tristen Bohr and Spencer Bohr led Crestwood with 12 points apiece.

Spirit Lake (3-1 overall, 2-1 in the Lakes Conference) hosts Estherville Lincoln Central today at 4:30 p.m.