ELC notches Lakes victory
Owen Larson scores 23 to lead balanced attack
By David Swartz
Holding a four-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Estherville Lincoln Central boys made the plays it needed to in the final period to defeat Cherokee 79-69 on Tuesday.
“I thought our guys played tough down the stretch,” said ELC coach Nick Gruhlke. “We played our best defensive quarter of the night during the fourth, turned them over fives times and made 11-13 free throws to seal the game.”
ELC had contributions from nearly every player who saw the court.
“Matt Christensen had a huge night getting 14 points and 14 rebounds,” said Gruhlke. “He made 5-7 free throws at the end of the game and grabbed five rebounds in the fourth quarter. Owen Larson played a great game scoring 23 points, getting six rebounds and four assists. I loved the way we competed hard, played together and let the game come to us. We had four guys in double figures for scoring and another one with nine points. It was a great team effort. We never seemed to get too high or too low, just played composed and made some big plays.”
ELC led 59-55 entering the final period and never trailed the rest of the way.
The Midgets were firing on all cylinders to start the game. ELC opened up with a 15-2 run with contributions by six different players including 3-pointers by Will Larson, Kevin Egeland and Adrian Vaughn.
However, Cherokee regrouped the remainder of the period and finished with a 14-4 run to cut the deficit to 19-16.
Both teams settled down in the second quarter and a seesaw battle ensued with an Owen Larson jumper at the buzzer tying the game at half-time 37-37.
ELC took the lead in the third quarter and hung onto it the remainder of the game.
Besides Owen Larson and Christensen, Will Larson and Ryan Schiltz each finished in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Vaughn finished with nine points, Egeland had five, Jack Jensen had four, and Octavious Piercy-Maze had three. ELC had 17 assists in the game led by Egeland with five.
Cherokee had five players five players in double digits led by Will Lugar with 15.
ELC (3-2 overall, 1-1 in the Lakes Conference) is at Spirit Lake (5-0) on Friday.