No. 12 Estherville Lincoln Central 64, No. 4 Spirit Lake 59, OT – Unbelievable!
It was a game you didn’t want to end.
Two top 15 teams, long-time rivals at that, battling for the top spot in the Lakes Conference with every player on the floor giving a complete effort.
Two amazing 3-pointers by Estherville Lincoln Central’s Taylar Jacobson and Alex Olesen, a game-high 29-point performance by Spirit Lake’s all-state player Kaisha Brown and a gym packed to the rafters with fans ended in a 64-59 overtime Midgette victory Monday.
“In terms of high school basketball, that’s as good as it gets,” said ELC coach Brad Leonard.
ELC trailed nearly the whole fourth quarter, but Spirit Lake pulled away.
When the Indians’ post player, Amber Kirschbaum, fouled out with 1:21 remaining, the Indians held a 47-41 advantage. But two free throws by Christa Clayton followed by a Taylor Larson steal led to Jacobson driving to the basket and converting a three-point play to cut the deficit to 47-46.
Spirit Lake’s Sammy Spies and Mary Brown knocked down free throws to push the lead back to four, 50-46, when Taylor Larson drove in for a layup to cut the lead to 50-48 with 16.1 seconds left. ELC fouled Mary Brown, who made one free throw to push the lead to 51-48.
ELC rebounded the miss and got the ball to Christa Clayton, but she was doubled on the right wing and passed to Alex Olesen at the top of the key.
With time winding down, Olesen launched a rainbow 3-pointer that hit nothing but net as the buzzer sounded to send the game into overtime.
“It looked good when she let go of it,” said Leonard.
The battle continued in overtime as Clayton posted up and scored to put ELC on top, but Brown answered with a 3-pointer.
ELC took a 58-56 lead when Clayton drew the defense to her and passed to Lapka for an open layup, but Spirit Lake’s Chelsie Stettnichs then converted on a 3-pointer play to put the Indians on top 59-58 with 44.1 seconds.
On ELC’s next possession, Lapka found Clayton underneath to put ELC on top for good.
ELC drew a charge on Kaisha Brown with 13.8 seconds left. Jacobson was fouled and knocked down two free throws to put ELC up by three, 62-59. A Kaisha Brown 3-pointer bounced off the back of the rim and Olesen came down with the rebound and was fouled. She made both free throws with three-tenths of a second for the final points.
Both teams showed they came ready to play. jacobson’ first 3-pointer of the night tied the game at 7-7 with just under two minutes gone.
ELC scored the final six points of the quarter with baskets by Clayton, Olsen and Jensen to take a 13-8 lead.
Kaisha Brown went to work in the second quarter scoring the first nine points of the second quarter to give the Indians a 17-13 led.
ELC tied the game at 17-17 with two free throws by Kelsie McCauley and took the lead on a basket by Clayton. Kaisha tied the game at 19-19, but McCauley rebounded a missed shot and put it back to give ELC a 21-19 lead at halftime.
Spirit Lake took the lead with Kirschbaum scoring a couple bsakets in the third quarter.
The Indians extended their lead to 35-28 on a three-point play by Brown, but Clayton scored to cut the lead to five.
The Indians played for the last shot, but ELC’s Taylar jacobson got the ball with time winding down and launched the ball from beyond halfcourt. The ball banked in to bring the ELC crowd to its feet and cut the deficit to 35-33.
Clayon led ELC with 22 points, six assists and three steals while Jacobson ened with 14 points.
“Taylar’s beent aking care of the ball and tonight, she had the best game she’s everyplayed,” said Leonard.
For the second time in a row, ELC shot well from the free throw line against the Indians. In their first meeting, a 50-36 ELC win, the Midgettes were 22-of-24. On Monday, ELC was 17-of-19. The Indians were 20-of-30 with Brown making all nine of her attempts.
Also for ELC, Oleesen finished with nine points and McCauley, who saw a lot of playing time as Lapka was in foul trouble, finished with eight.
For the Indians, Kirschbaum hd nine and Mary Brown and Chelsie Stettnichs each had six.
ELC (18-2, 14-1) ends the regular season today at Western Christian.
Spirit Lake (17-1, 13-2) hosts Storm Lake today.
The ELC JV girls won 35-23 over Spirit Lake.
No. 12 ELC 64, No. 4 Spirit Lake 59, OT
Estherville Lincoln Central (64) – Landra Lapka 2 0-0 4; Melanie Bandow 0 0-0 0; Taylar Jacobson 4 4-5 14; Emily Jensen 1 0-0 2; Alex Olesen 3 2-2 9; Kelsie McCauley 2 4-4 8; Taylor Larson 3 0-0 7; Christa Clayton 7 6-7 20
Spirit Lake (59) – Mary Brown 1 3-4 6; Caila Jones 1 3-5 5; Chelsie Stettnichs 2 2-4 6; Sammy Spies 1 2-7 4; Kaisha Brown 9 9-9 29; Regan Sieperda 0 0-0 0; Amber Kirschbaum 4 1-1 9.
Halftime score — ELC 21, Spirit Lake 19. 3-pointers – ELC 4 (Jacobson 2, Olesen, Larson; SL 3 (K. Brown 2, M. Brown) . Rebounds – ELC 27 (McCauley 7); SL 24 (Kirscbhaum 6). Assists – ELC 13 (Clayton 6); SL n/a. Steals – ELC 6 (Clayton 3); SL n/a. Blocked Shots – ELC 1 (McCauley); SL n/a. Turnovers – ELC 16; SL 21. Total Fouls – ELC 23; SL 21. Fouled Out – A. Kirschbaum, M. Brown. Technical Fouls – none.