Taking care of business -Clayton leads ELC with 22
Class 3A No. 12 Estherville Lincoln Central took care of business with a 51-38 victory over Cherokee on Friday.
The win gives ELC a 13-1 record in the Lakes Conference as the Midgettes look ahead to Monday’s matchup with No. 4 Spirit Lake. The Indians are also 13-1 in the conference after their 56-48 win over Western Christian on Friday.
ELC coach Brad Leonard said his team has been preparing for Spirit Lake for the last week and a half as the game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 29, but postponed after bad weather.
“I think the kids will be relaxed and ready to go,” said Leonard.
The Midgettes had total control of Cherokee (2-17, 1-13) through three quarters.
ELC (17-2) jumped out to a 16-7 lead after one quarter and stretched their advantage to 26-12 at halftime.
Christa Clayton scored 10 of her game-high 22 points in the first half with five other players, Landra Lapka, Taylar Jacobson, Emily Jensen, Kelsie McCauley and Taylor Larson, all making the scoring column.
ELC continued to pull away in the third quarter, taking a 39-20 lead heading into the final frame.
Clayton scored the first four points of the period when the Braves suddenly heated up and went on an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to 45-31.
“Our kids defense was good right away and to start the second half,” said Leonard. “In the fourth quarter, you can see what kind of team we are when we don’t play defense.”
Free throws by Larson and a basket by Clayton helped push the lead to 17 at 49-32.
With time running out, Leonard sent in his bench players. Cherokee made another run, but the game ended on a putback by senior Kassie Heckard to punctuate the victory.
No. 12 ELC 51, Cherokee 38
Estherville Lincoln Central (51) – Landra Lapka 1 2-2 4; Melanie Bandow 0 0-0 0; Taylar Jacobson 2 0-1 6; Emily Jensen 3 0-3 6; Alex Olesen 0 0-0 0; Kelsie McCauley 0 4-4 4; Taylor Larson 1 4-7 7; Christa Clayton 9 4-5 22; Maggie Asman 0 0-2 0; Kassie Heckard 1 0-0 2.
Halftime score — ELC 26, Cherokee 12. 3-pointers – 3 (Jacobson 2, Larson). Rebounds – 23. Assists – 5. Steals – 15. Blocked Shots – 2 (McCauley, Lapka). Turnovers – 21. Total Fouls – 18. Fouled Out – none. Technical Fouls – none.