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Class 2A District Basketball End of the line

By Staff | Feb 20, 2018

SHELDON – A slow start by Estherville Lincoln Central didn’t help the Midgets’ chances against Class 2A No. 8 Sioux Center on Thursday.

The Warriors scored the first seven points of the night and that was their lead after one quarter, 17-10. ELC could never quite catch up from there as the Warriors gradually pushed their advantage throughout the game on the way to a 64-43 victory.

“They’re big and athletic and can shoot,” said ELC coach Nick Gruhlke. “It’s difficult to guard when their post has 4 to 5 inches on you and then they surround him with shoots. They have five good players at all times.”

Nevertheless, ELC gave its full effort.

Senior scoring leader Trevor Friesner had to miss part of the first quarter after an inadvertent blow to the face gave him a bloody nose.

“I never doubted our effort, even when we were down early and without Trevor,” said Gruhlke. “We kept mixing up our defense to make things more difficult.”

Friesner returned to the game and led off the second quarter with a 3-pointer. Then a jumper by Jayson Moeller cut the deficit to four at 19-15.

ELC still trailed by just five, 24-19, when Moeller tipped in a miss by teammate Octavious Piercy-Maze.

However, Sioux Center finished the half on a 7-2 run to lead 32-21 at the break.

Friesner led off the third quarter with his second 3-pointer to get the lead back to 10 at 34-24.

Again the Warriors responded, this time with a 10-0 run that essentially put the game out of reach. ELC trailed 49-27 to start the final period.

Friesner and Moeller led ELC with 13 points apiece while Izaak Sander, Jacob Heinrichs and Noah Heifner each had three points and Trey Jacobson, Piercy-Maze, Seth Vaske and Blake Miller each had two points.

ELC finishes the season with a 12-11 record, the first time the Midgets have an above .500 record since the 1996-97 season.

“When we met with the seniors in the first week of practice, that was one of our goals,” said Gruhlke. “We’re happy the way the season went and we set the tone for what’s expected and what it takes to play on this time.”

Six seniors graduate from this squad in Trevor Friesner, Jacob Heinrichs, Trey Jacobson, Jayson Moeller, Noah Heifner and Jacob Bosch. ELC has been without the services of Bosch since he had surgery on his hand.

“We’ll really miss these guys-not only because of their effort. But they have a good sense of humor. None wanted to be a star, but they wanted to play for each other and did things the right way. We’ll not only miss their scoring, but their leadership and experience. We’ll see if the offseason who wants to put in the work.”