Rallying to victory
SPIRIT LAKE – Estherville Lincoln Central and Spirit Lake played a game that will long be remembered on Saturday.
The Midgets trailed by nine, 62-53 with about 1 minutes left in regulation. ELC came up with a few breaks and Justin Heinrichs 3-pointer at the buzzer tied the game at 66-66, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra period, Heinrichs had fouled out and the Midgets still trailed by two, 74-72, with time winding down.
In-bounding the ball under the ELC basket with about 13 seconds left, the Spirit Lake defense sagged off Bryce Mann, who came in fresh off the bench. Carsten Bosch inbounded to a wide-open Mann, who rained in a 3-pointer to give ELC the lead with 10.5 seconds left.
Spirit Lake’s Alec Henrickson, who finished with a game-high 36 points missed, his final shot. One more scramble and shot went up and in after a made scramble for the rebound, but it was ruled too late as ELC won 75-74.
“That inbounds play was designed with two options-to go for the tie or got for the win,” said ELC coach Corey Christopher. “Bryce just stepped up.”
The play to tie the game was just as good. Christopher said it was “three kids just making plays.” A series of screens, gave Heinrichs an open look from the right side of the arc.
In an up-and-down game, Spirit Lake took a 6-2 lead on 3-pointers by Billy Brown and Trevor Smith.
ELC responded with a 9-0 run started by two free throws from Bosch, a 3-pointer by Heinrichs and baskets by Clay Tredway and Bosch.
Henrickson responded with two 3-pointers before of the end of the period as ELC held on to a 17-14 advantage.
Henrickson, who finished the night with seven 3-pointers, hit two more in the middle of the third quarter that gave the Indians a 25-23 advantage.
ELC tied the game at 31-31 on a steal and layup by Heinrichs with 22.5 seconds left in the half. Both teams missed opportunities to take the lead as Henrickson was called for traveling and Bosch missed a shot at the buzzer.
The third quarter started with the teams trading 3-pointers. Justin Heinrichs hit the first one followed by 3-pointers from Smith and Henrickson. Joe Heinrichs’ 3-pointer tied the game at 37-37 and then Joe gave ELC back the lead. But two 3-pointers by Brown near the end of the period gave the hosts a 47-42 advantage. David Hughes hit a basket to cut the deficit to 4744.
Brown hit a 3-pointer to start the second half and Joe Heinrichs fouled out soon after with 6:1 left to go in the game.
Down 60-52, the Midgets missed some opportunities at the free throw line with both Justin Heinrichs and Hughes missing the front end of a one-and-one, but the Indians lost Brown to fouls.
But with ELC trailing 62-53 after two free throws by Henrickson, Justin Heinrichs hit two free throws. Then David Hughes stole the ball on ELC’s full-court pressure and saved the ball to Bosch, who was standing under the Midgets’ basket for a layup.
Two more free throws by Henrickson pushed the lead back to seven, 64-57. Hughes followed with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 64-60 with 49.9 seconds remaining. ELC got the ball back and had an inbounds opportunity under their basket. Bosch passed to Noah Diekmann, who passed back to Bosch who had stepped in under the basket. He was fouled on the layup and converted the 3-pointer play with 26.5 seconds remaining.
ELC again fouled Henrickson, who made two free throws with 24 seconds left. That set up Heinrichs 3-pointer.
In the extra period, Spirit Lake took a 72-69 lead, but a basket by Justin Heinrichs cut the deficit to 1:26 remaining. He was then called for his fifth foul on the ensuing defensive possession and Henrickson made one of two. Bosch was fouled on the opposite end and made just one free throw as ELC trailed by one 73-72. ELC fouled Smith, who made one free throw, which eventually set up the game-winning scenario.
Hughes led ELC with 22 points, including 7 of 9 from the free-throw line. Justin Heinrichs had 19, Bosch had 13 and Joe Heinrichs had 11. Diekmann chipped in four points and Mann and Clay Tredway each had three.
ELC finished 22 of 30 from the free throw line while Spirit Lake was 13-of-17.
The Indians finished 13-of-25 from 3-point range. Smith finished with 18 points, Brown had 14 and Sam Harms had six. Henrickson was 7 of 14 from 3-point range and 9-of-9 from the free throw line.