HULL - Trailing by single digits midway through the third quarter, Estherville Lincoln Central was playing one of its better games against Class 2A No. 2 Western Christian.
But the Wolfpack put the pedal down in the final quarter and ended up cruising to an 85-55 victory over the Midgets on Friday.
"I thought we came out and played competitive for three quarters," said ELC coach York Plagge. "But that fourth quarter got away from us."
While Western Christian started the game with a 9-1 run, the Midgets battled back as Adam Reiter and Evan Hansen both knocked down 3-pointers as part of an 8-1 ELC run as the Midgets got within one.
When Reiter hit his second 3-poiner near the end of the first quarter, ELC trailed 22-15.
Western Christian pushed its lead to 13 early in the second quarter when Reiter his third trey of the night to kept the deficit at 10, 28-18. Tyler Swanson and Matt Burrell helped the Midgets match the hosts basket for basket for the next few minutes and ELC still trailed by 10 when Hansen hit his second 3-pointer at 41-31.
ELC had a chance to get the lead to single digits at the end of the half, but a turnover led to an easy basket for the Wolfpack as they led 47-35 at the break.
"I thought we handled their pressure well," said Plagge. "Our drive-and-kick game was working and I liked the way we switched defenses through the first three quarters.
Burrell scored the first basket of the third quarter and Reiter hit his final 3-pointer of the night to get ELC within seven, 47-40.
ELC still trailed by just nine moments later when Derek Nieland got inside for a basket at 51-42.
That's when Western Christian began to pull away. They scored the next few points and took a 64-48 lead into the final frame.
The hosts then put together a 21-7 final quarter to get the win.
Burrell led LEC with 15 points while Reiter finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Hansen finished with nine points while Swanson had eight, Joe Heinrichs had five and Nieland and Tucker Milburn each had two.
Michael Den Herder led the Wolfpack with 17.
ELC (5-9 overall, 2-5 in the Lakes Conference) is back on action Tuesday at Emmetsburg.