Midgets unable to fend off Braves
CHEROKEE — The Estherville Lincoln Central boys basketball team appeared headed for its second win of the season.
With a 12-point lead early in the third quarter, 40-28, the Midgets apparently had Friday’s game with Cherokee well in hand.
But the Braves, led by Matt Koch, went on a 13-0 run to end the third period and take a one-point lead.
ELC briefly took the lead in the fourth quarter, but the Braves made the plays and enough free throws down the stretch to earn their first win, 57-49.
The Midgets began their game similar to the previous night against Lake Mills.
After the Braves scored the first basket, Matt Gruhlke knocked down a 3-pointer and Marcus Stangl put back an offensive rebound for a 5-2 lead.
A trey by the Braves tied the game and the lead seesawed the rest of the first period with a Kyle Grems bucket giving the Midgets a 15-14 lead.
Stangl and Gruhlke both scored to start the second quarter and a 3-pointer by Gruhlke pushed the lead to six at 24-18.
ELC pulled ahead to an eight-point lead at 28-20 when the Braves rallied with the next six points.
ELC scored the final five points of the half with Caleb Caboth knocking down a shot and Grems converting a three-point play for a 33-26 halftime lead.
The Midgets kept the momentum with a 7-2 run to start the second half with two baskets by Stangl and a 3-pointer by Gruhlke to build a 12–point lead.
However, Koch scored the next five points to start the 13-0 run and Cherokee led 41-40 to start the final frame.
Stangl gave the lead back to the Midgets with six straight points at 47-45. Two free throws by Koch tied the game and a steal and layup by Cody Ege gave Cherokee the lead for good.
ELC trailed by just two, 51-49 with 26 seconds left after another basket by Gruhlke.
The Midgets then fouled, but twice they were unable to rebound the Cherokee misses and were forced to foul again. Keith Fandel, Stangl and Grems all fouled out as the Braves finally knocked down enough free throws to put the game away.
Gruhlke and Stangl each led the Midgets with 16 points while Caboth and Klingbeil both had six points. Klingbeil led the rebounding effort with 11 boards.
ELC (1-6, 0-4) hosts Western Christian on Friday, Jan. 4, 2008.
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, Cheroke 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.