Playoff preview shows Tigers’ claws
SPENCER — Estherville Lincoln Central got another look at Spencer on Friday before the two teams meet in the first round of the 3A playoffs on Monday.
The Tigers looked scary.
In spite of a hot-shooting night for senior Matt Gruhlke, who hit five 3-pointers, ELC never led after the first quarter in an 82-46 loss.
The Midgets took an early 2-0 lead as Marcus Stangl scored inside and again at 5-4 after Gruhlke’s first 3-pointer.
The Midgets led one more time at 7-6 after a Kyle Grems basket and were tied at 9-9 after he scored again.
Then Spencer went on 9-0 run to end the quarter and lead 18-9.
The Midgets trailed by just eight, 22-14 when Gruhlke hit his second 3-pointer at 22-14. ELC still trailed by eight at 24-16 after a basket by Dylan Sievert, but the Tigers went on an 11-1 run to end the half for a 35-17 lead.
Gruhlke’s final three 3-pointers all came in the third quarter, but the Tigers still out-paced ELC taking a 62-37 lead.
Gruhlke ended with 17 points while Grems had 11. Caleb Caboth added four points while Sievert had three and Collin Klingbeil had two.
ELC ends the season at 2-19 and 0-16 in the Lakes Conference.
The Midgets and Tigers meet at Spencer again on Monday. Game time is 7 p.m.