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ELC hangs with Wolfpack until late first half run

By Staff | Feb 1, 2017

When his starters weren’t doing their job, Western Christian coach Bill Harmsen pulled them from the game to give his bench a chance to improve.

If Estherville Lincoln Central could’ve hit more of its open looks, the Midgets may have challenged the top-ranked team in Class 2A more.

As it turned out, ELC trailed by just four, 20-16, with 2:49 left in the first half when coach Harmsen turned his starters loose.

Their full-court pressure allowed them to end the first half on an 11-0 run. The Wolfpack built its lead throughout the second half and cruised to the 70-38 victory.

“The kids again came out with energy and our defense played well,” said ELC coach Don Martindale. “On the blueprint for our offense, we had good look after good look. Our confidence in shooting the ball was not there.

“Western Christian really upped its intensity at the end of the second quarter,” the coach continued. “That pressure bothered us and they have a deep bench. They did a nice job of coming out after us.”

ELC jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter and that was the score after the first 4 minutes as both teams struggled to hit shots. However the Wolfpack’s Carter Broek came off the bench and hit three 3-pointers in the opening frame as the visitors led 11-7 after 8 minutes of play.

ELC’s Jacob Bosch started the second quarter with a three-point play and a 3-pointer to tie the game at 13-13 with 4:51 remaining. Western Christian scored the next seven points before Heinrichs hit his second 3-pointer of the night to get to 20-16.

That’s when the tied turn. The 11-0 run gave Western Christian a 31-6 halftime lead. The Wolfpack kept the pressure up in the second half and stretched the lead to 48-26 by the end of the third quarter.

Western Christian finished the night shooting 45 percent (29-of-64) compared to ELC’s 30 percent (13-of-43).

Heinrichs led ELC with 12 points and five rebounds while Jacob Bosch had nine points, five rebounds and four assists. Jayson Moeller and Brian Egeland each finished with six points and Trevor Friesner had five points and six rebounds. Trey Jacobson also had four assists.

Broek and Ben Gessink led Western Christian with 14 points each.

ELC (5-14 overall, 1-11 in the Lakes Conference) travels to Emmetsburg on Friday.