Midgets’ long season ends
SPENCER — After playing Spencer on Friday, the Estherville Lincoln Central boys basketball team knew exactly what to expect from the Tigers as the two teams met in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs on Monday.
Spencer didn’t disappoint and soundly defeated the Midgets for the third time this season with a 83-48 victory.
The Midgets came out of the gates ready to go and kept the game close in the first quarter, but turnovers led to easy Tiger baskets as the hosts pulled away for a 36-23 lead.
ELC ended with 25 turnovers for the game and Spencer also out-rebounded the Midgets 42-24.
ELC jumped out to a 6-2 lead courtesy two 3-pointers by senior Matt Gruhlke, who had five against the Tigers on Friday.
The Tigers tied the game, but ELC’s Kyle Grems and Marcus Stangl helped the Midgets stay out front a little longer.
After Stangl’s second basket, ELC led 12-10, but a 3-pointer by Taylor Chapman gave Spencer the lead which they never relinquished. A basket by Nolan Goeken gave the Tigers a 15-12 lead after one quarter as the Tigers started to open the game up in the second.
A 3-pointer by Kyle Fitch started the second quarter.
A basket by Caleb Caboth and two buckets by Dylan Sievert kept the lead to single digits, but ELC trailed 34-23 when Gruhlke hit his third 3-pointer of the night. the Tigers led 36-23 at the break.
Stangl had a strong third quarter scoring seven of his 12 points in the period, but the Tigers used a 13-2 run at one point to push the lead to over 20 at 50-29.
Taking a 55-32 lead into the final frame, Spencer never let up in the final period.
Senior Collin Klingbeil closed out his career, scoring six of the Midgets last eight points. He ended the night with seven.
Fitch led a balanced Tiger attack with 27 points with Chapman scoring 12 and Goeken had 11.
Gruhlke and Stangl, both had 12 points while Kyle Grems had six, Caboth five, Sievert four and Aaron Andrews two.
Playing in their final high school game were Klingbeil, Gruhlke, Stangl and Caboth.