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Top teams battle for Lakes lead in Hull

Midgets unable to catch up to Wolfpack

January 11, 2013
By David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville Daily News

It's a game both Western Christian and Estherville Lincoln Central probably circled on their calendar at the beginning of the season.

The Wolfpack, ranked first in Class 2A, last played the Class 3A No. 3 Midgets in the first-round of the 2012 Class 2A State Tournament. Western Christian rallied to steal a win from the Midgets and went on to win a state title.

Friday was ELC's chance to avenge that loss-and take the lead in the Lakes Conference race as both teams entered the game at 6-0 in the league.

But the ball bounced Western Christian's way too much and ELC fell 70-59.

Trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half, the Midgets cut the deficit to three before the hosts pulled away and made free throws to preserve the victory.

"All their girls could shoot-I didn't think their three-point shooting hurt us-but they got to a lot of loose balls," said ELC coach Tony Klein. "I thought we did a great job breaking their pressure. If there was anything that hurt us, it was defensive rebounding."

Klein said Western Christian kept fresh bodies in the game and crashed the offensive glass hard.

"They know they're quick enough to get back on defense," he said.

Western Christian opened the game with the first five points. ELC got its first three points at the free throw line to cut the deficit to 5-3, but Jamie Gesink hit a 3-pointer to push the lead back to five.

However a 3-pointer later in the period by Casey Sievert cut the deficit to 10-8. Allie Sievert had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line, but missed both. Fortunately Emily Kirchner rebounded the second miss and eventually scored to tie the game at 10-10.

Casey Sievert and Sara Heywood both picked up two fouls in the first quarter as Caitlyn Clayton came off the bench to help out for a few minutes. She came up with a rebound and putback to tie the game again at 12-12.

But Western's Alissa Pollema scored a jumper and the Wolfpack led 14-12 after one quarter.

Western stretched its lead to seven early in the second quarter when Macy Dahl hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 23-19.

The hosts kept up the pressure and led by as many as 11, 32-21, before ELC scored the final four points of the half on baskets by Allie Sievert and Clayton to cut the deficit to seven, 32-25. But the hosts led 35-27 at the break.

ELC struggled at the free throw line in the first half, just 3-for-9, but the Midgets had just committed six turnovers.

Kirchner scored the first basket of the third quarter to cut the deficit back to six. But Western kept pushing their advantage and led 47-35 after a 3-pointer by Kenzie VandeVegte.

Casey Sievert answered with a 3-pointer of her own ad ELC got the lead back to seven after two free throws by Allie Sievert at 47-40.

But ELC trailed 51-42 to start the final quarter.

Allie Sievert opened the final period with five quick points on a 3-point play by Allie Sievert and a basket by Kirchner.

ELC kept trading baskets until Kirchner was fouled on a layup. She made the free throw as ELC cut the deficit to 55-52 with 6:20 left in the game.

But Western pushed the lead back to 10 as VandeVegte put back a Wolfpack miss and later made two free throws. It was followed by a 3-pointer from Gesink as the hosts led 62-52.

ELC could only get as close as 65-59 late in the game and Western made its free throws to close out the game.

Allie Sievert led ELC with 23 points and 12 rebounds while Kirchner finished with 16 points and 12 boards. Casey Sievert had nine points, Clayton had four, Dahl had three and Maggie McCauley and Heywood each had two.

Wolterstorff led the Wolfpack with 16 points while Jansma and Pollema each had 10.

ELC finished 16-of-24 from the free throw line while Western was 19-of 32.

ELC (12-2 overall, 6-1 in the Lakes Conference) begin their second run through the Lakes Conference at Emmetsburg on Tuesday.



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