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Midgets suffer second loss in battle of rated teams

Lions hold on for four-point win

By David Swartz - | Jan 13, 2021

ROCK RAPIDS — A battle between two ranked foes turned into a really donnybrook on Tuesday.

Class 3A No. 14 Estherville Lincoln Central and Class 2A No. 11 Central Lyon were separated by just two points late in the game.

Trailing 51-49, ELC’s Jaydan Nitchals grabbed a rebound off a Lions’ missed free throw and went coast-to coast to try the game. However, her left-handed layup rolled of the rim. Central Lion then sealed the 53-49 victory with a pair of free throws with 25.6 seconds remaining, as ELC was unable to come up with another score.

The Midgets were hitting on all cylinders early in the game, taking a 14-10 lead after one quarter. Some early shots in the second quarter helped ELC lead 23-14. However, the hosts came storming back, ending the period with a 15-3 run to take a 29-26 lead at the break.

A Nitchals’ 3-pointer to start the second half tied the game at 29-29 and Kaitlyn tendal connected on a shot for a 31-29 ELC advantage. However the game seesawed the rest of the period, with Central Lyon taking a 41-40 lead late into the final period.

Central Lyon hit the shots early in the fourth and led by as many as six, 48-42. Three-pointers by Nitchals and Amara Heinrichs got ELC within two, 50-48 with 45 seconds left in the contest and a Heinrichs free throw cut the deficit to one, 50-49.

Nitchals led ELC with 16 points while Tendal had 13, Heinrichs had 10, Jordyn Stokes had eight and Jasey Anderson had two.

The Lions had a 29-14 edge in rebounds and finished 8-of-14 from the free throw line compared to just 4-of-6 for ELC.

ELC (10-2 overall) returns to action this evening, hosting Class 1A No. 2 Newell-Fonda. The Midgets return to Lakes Conference play on Friday, traveling to Spencer to take on the Tigers.