ELC notches another win – Clayton scores 20 as Midgettes win fifth straight
CHEROKEE — Playing its third game in four days, the Estherville Lincoln Central girls’ defense wasn’t as stifling against Cherokee as it was earlier in the week.
However, the Midgettes did open the game with a 15-2 run and the Braves couldn’t knock down enough open shots to keep up. ELC was outscored 13-7 in the second quarter, but the Midgettes pulled away down the stretch for a 54-36 victory.
The win gives the Midgettes, rated 15th in this week’s Class 3A poll, a 9-2 record overall and 6-1 in the Lakes Conference.
“I didn’t think we had good defense tonight. They (Cherokee) had too many open looks,” said ELC coach Brad Leonard. “They just missed a lot of shots.”
ELC had little trouble to start the game. Clayton had six of her game-high 20 points in the first quarter, Melanie Bandow had four and Taylar Jacobson hit a 3-pointer to give the Midgettes a 15-2 lead.
The Braves hit two3-pointers early in the second quarter while ELC didn’t score until Taylor Larson knocked down a free throw.
The Braves cut the deficit to 16-10 before Clayton and Landra Lapka scored two straight baskets. Another 3-pointer by Cherokee cut the deficit back to seven, but Clayton scored the final basket of the half for a 22-13 ELC lead.
“We didn’t get the ball movement we wanted,” said Leonard. “One possession we’d move the ball around and get a good shot. other times, it was one pass and shoot or turn it over.”
In the third quarter, the Braves again cut the lead to seven at 27-20 when the Midgettes went on an 8-0 run with four points each from Larson and Clayton.
The Braves knocked down a couple more shots, but ELC led 37-24 to start the final frame.
ELC opened the fourth quarter with the first five points and Cherokee never threatened the rest of the way.
Clayton had nine rebounds and four assists to go along with her 20 points.
Bandow had eight points and a team-high three steals.
ELC returns to action on Friday, Jan. 4, at home versus Western Christian.
The ELC junior varsity girls team defeated Cherokee 41-31. Megan Lappegard led the Midgettes with 16 points.
ELC 54, Cherokee 36
Estherville Lincoln Central (54) – Landra Lapka 3 0-0 6; Melanie Bandow 4 0-1 8; Taylar Jacobson 1 0-0 3; Emily Jensen 2 3-4 7; Alex Olesen 0 0-1 0; Kelsie McCauley 0 0-0 0; Taylor Larson 1 6-8 8; Christa Clayton 9 2-2 20; Maggie Asman 0 0-0 0; Kassie Heckard 0 0-0 0.
Halftime score — ELC 22, Cherokee 13. 3-pointers – 1 (Jacobson). Rebounds – 348 (Clayton 9). Assists – 10 (Clayton 4). Steals – 8 (Bandow 3). Blocked Shots – 1 (McCauley) Turnovers – . Total Fouls – 13. Fouled Out – none. Technical Fouls – none.