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Sievert, Kirchner, create community pride

January 30, 2013
Estherville Daily News

Two Estherville Lincoln Central girls gave a lot of pride to the community Tuesday night when Allie Sievert set the school scoring record of 1,168 points (and counting) and Emily Kirchner broke 1,000 points - making 1,003 career points to date - in the Midgets' game against Spirit Lake.

These are two great accomplishments. What's remarkable is that they were made by two players on the same team during the same game.

All one has to do is step back to the early 1970s and pre-Title IX days to see how much sports have helped young women. Who can forget the accomplishments of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team or the formation of women's professional basketball.

Interestingly, though, the change was not as remarkable in Iowa as it was in other states.

Iowa girls basketball has a long and storied history, with six-on-six play predating the current five-player teams. The six-on-six games are legendary. The scoring stratospheric, with high-school career totals reaching as high as 6,000 points. In its time, attendance at girls games overshadowed that at boys games, and for good reason. For most girls at that time, college play was not an option, and they knew their senior year was the last time they would ever play. Hence, they quite virtually took on a win-or-die attitude.

It's a different game today, of course, and such ridiculously high scores are no longer possible in a five-player game, but the point is that six-on-six set a precedent for Iowa girls basketball that remains today.

The crowds still come, and they still get excited about watching girls put their hearts into a game.

The current ELC girls team is part of a cohort that has played together since they were old enough to dribble a basketball. More than one college coach has expressed the wish to take on the team and move them straight into college play.

This team has accomplished some great things, but they're not over yet. A few of them are going on to play college ball, something many of their sisters of 40 years ago would never have dreamed.

But they're in the stands too, cheering them on, seeing how far their daughters and granddaughters have come.



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