ALGONA - Class 3A No. 3 Estherville Lincoln Central played its typical defense against a good Hampton-Dumont team in the Region 3 semifinal in Algona on Wednesday.
On this night, ELC's offense came along for the ride as the Midgets won easily, 53-32, over a team that entered the game with a 19-3 record.
ELC (20-3) will travel to Garner on Saturday to take on Nevada (19-4), who defeated Iowa Falls-Alden 44-40 on Wednesday.
Estherville Lincoln Central’s Allie Sievert drives in for two of her 15 points in the Midgets’ Class 3A semifinal win over Hampton-Dumont on Wednesday.
EDN photo by David Swartz
In ELC's game, Hampton Dumont's leading scorer Taryn Barz equaled her point average for the season with 17 points. But the Midgets essentially shut down the rest of the Bulldogs with the Jessica Speake scoring just seven and Jordan Prantner scoring six. The Midgets made it tough for Barz all night with several double teams and making it tough for the Bulldog guards to make an easy entry pass.
Meanwhile, ELC scoring was balanced. Sara Heywood hit four 3-pointers and finished with 15 points and Allie Sievert also had 15. Emily Kirchner scored 10 points , Casey Sievert had nine and Maggie McCauley had four.
"The girls played super tonight," said ELC coach Tony Klein. "Our quickness and condition was an advantage and we had to do things to make them pay. We just ran them up and down."
Barz scored the first four points of the game, but that was essentially the highlight of the night for Hampton-Dumont. Heywood opened the night with her first 3-pointer, the stat of a 10-0 run that included a typical baseline drive and layup by Kirchner, a 3-pointer by Casey Sievert and a baseline jumper from Allie Sievert.
ELC held that advantage until a basket by Kirchner at the buzzer gave the Midgets a 16-8 lead after one quarter.
Heywood opened the second quarter with her second trey and then McCauley got in the act with a drive and pull-up jumper from 8 feet. A basket by Casey Sievert gave the Midgets the biggest lead of the first half at 23-8.
Hampton-Dumont fought back by scoring the next six points, but Allie Sievert knocked down a couple more shots and Kirchner again scored at the end of the half as ELC led 30-18.
Barz opened the second half with a here-point play to cut the lead to single digits, but the Bulldogs would get no closer.
Heywood hit two more 3-pointers in the quarter and Allie Sievert hit another baseline jumper as ELC led 41-25.
After two free throws by Prantner, Heywood came up with a steal and a layup and this time Allie Sievert hit a basket at the buzzer as ELC led 45-27.
ELC slowed the pace down in the final period as Hampton-Dumont was forced to come out of its zone defense and play man-to-man. But that allowed Casey Sievert to get inside where she made a couple layups. The Midgets essentially ran out the clock for most of the last half of the quarter.