ELC clamps down on GHV in Class 3A region quarterfinal
“Defense wins championships” says the familiar cliche. Class 3A No. 11 Estherville Lincoln Central showed Garner-Hayfield-Ventura how good its defense is, as the Midgets stifled the Cardinals in a 48-36 victory on Saturday.
The win advances ELC to a Class 3A Region semifinal game against Forest City (16-7) at 7 p.m., Wednesday in Estherville. Forest City advance with a solid defense also, as the Indians won 45-30 over Clarion-Goldfield-Dows (17-5) on Saturday.
“Our kids followed our defensive game play to a ‘T’,” said ELC coach Don Martindale. “That team (GHV) lost to Garrigan (ranked first in Class 1A) by just nine points. Their length and athleticism really give people problems. But we played a very good game. I don’t think we could’ve played much better defensively. I thought our rebounding kept us in the game. I really think that was the toughest first-round matchup in 3A. It was a tremendous team victory and I’m so proud of the kids and the coaching staff. It’s a hard-nosed group of kids and it’s fun to watch them.”
ELC started the game on a 10-0 run started by a steal and layup by Kaitlyn Tendal. Jasey Anderson scored the next five points on a three-point play and a layup and a three-point play by Jordan Stokes completed the run.
GHV senior Jayden Frank finally broke the ice for the visitors with a free throw, as they scored the next five points.
However ELC’s Jaydan Nitchals hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 13-5 lead after the first quarter.
Three-pointers by Amara Heinrichs and Tendal in the second quarter helped ELC extend its lead to 24-10. However, this time Frank hit a long 3-pointer at the half-time buzzer to cut the lead to 24-13.
ELC did what it needed in the third quarter to keep its double digit lead, taking its biggest leag on a 3-pointer by Jordyn Stokes at the 4-minute mark. ELC led 35-21 to start the final period.
With their season slipping away, the Cardinals opened the fourth quarter on an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to eight, 37-29.
However, ELC took its time on offense and made 9-of-12 free throws in the final three minutes to seal the victory.
Stokes scored 13 of her team-high 19 points in the second half to lead the Midgets. Tendal finished with 13 points while Anderson had seven, Nitchals had six, and Heinrichs had three.
Frank led GHV with 21 points including making 12-of-13 free throws.
Forest City’s scoring leaders are Shae Dillavou (14.0 points per game), Ellie Caylor (12.5 ppg) and Kaylee Miller (11.1 ppg). The Indians have lost twice to Class 1A No. 1 Bishop Garrigan and split regular season meetings with North Union, Class 2A No. 14 West Hancock, and Garner-Hayfield-Ventura. They have also lost to Class 3A No. 2 Clear Lake and Class 4A No. 6 Waverly-Shell Rock.
In the other Class 3A Region 2 semifinal, third-ranked Unity Christian (20-2) hosts Humboldt (18-4) in Orange City. The region championship is at 7 p.m., Saturday at a site to be determined.