ELC 60, Forest City 48 – One game from State
ELC seals victory at the free throw line
Class 3A No. 11 Estherville Lincoln Central again played a gem of a game on Wednesday to advance in the Class 3A Region Tournament.
For the second game in a row, the Midgets made the free throws late in the game when it counted to defeat Forest City 60-48. ELC freshman Jasey Anderson converted the first one-and-one and senior Amara Heinrichs converted two one-and-ones in the final three minutes of the game. ELC made 9-of-10 free throws in the fourth quarter.
“Again this was tremendous defense and we made free throws down the stretch,” said ELC coach Don Martindale. “We never folded when they made a run. We beat another good team.”
ELC (18-5) will play Saturday at a site to be determined (Spirit Lake or Algona according to the Varsity Bound website) against third-ranked Unity Christian (21-2). The Knights defeated Humboldt (18-5) 94-63 after taking a 35-16 lead in the first quarter.
“I don’t know how it’s going to turn out on Saturday, but I know one thing–if we don’t have the toughest regional in the state (in 3A), I don’t know what other one is,” said Martindale.
For the second game, the Midgets started quickly.
Anderson made the first layup and Jaydan Nitchals and Jordyn Stokes hit 3-pointers for an 8-2 ELC advantage.
Forest City (17-6) rallied, cutting the deficit to 11-10 by end of the first quarter. The Indians then scored the first basket of the second quarter and a seesaw battle ensued until Kaitlyn Tendal knocked down a 3-pointer down from the corner for an 18-17 ELC lead. Stokes and Nitchals both knocked in treys, as ELC led 26-19. The Indians again made a couple baskets late and trailed by five, 28-23 at the break.
Forest City scored the first two baskets of the second half to cut the deficit to one, 28-27.
ELC again responded with Nitchals scoring 11 of her 20 points in the period, as the Midgets stretched the lead to eight, 43-35, by the start of the final period.
Forest City hit a couple 3-pointers in the fourth, but never got closer than seven. The 12-point difference in the final score was the Midgets’ biggest lead of the night.
Stokes led all scorers with 21 points while Kaitlyn Tendal had 11. Heinrichs and Anderson each had four points.
Shae Dillavou led Forest City with 15 points.