Ranked third in Class 3A, Estherville Lincoln Central should face its toughest test of the postseason to date against tenth-ranked Nevada tonight in Garner.
The Nevada Cubs opened tournament play with a 60-29 victory over South Hardin, Eldora and then beat Iowa Falls-Alden 44-40.
Six-foot freshman Kati Cassabaum led the Cubs in both games, scoring 18 points against South Hardin and 25 against Iowa Falls-Alden. However Cassabaum is averaging 10.6 points per game this season.
Teammate Jessica Helton, a 5-5 junior, leads the team in scoring with 11.5 points per contest. She is shooting 30.4 percent from 3-point range, making 42-of-138 for the season. Megan Pringnitz, a 5-10 junior, is averaging 8.7 points per contest with a majority of her shots also taken from beyond the arc. She is 41-of-131 from 3-point range for 31.3 percent. From the field, she is 64-of-177 for 36.2 percent.
Nevada (17-4) has two losses this season to North Polk 54-44 and 50-44, one to Greene County, 56-40 and one to fifth-ranked Bondurant-Farrar, 28-26.
Like ELC, Nevada's team appears predicated on defense as the Cubs have given up more than 40 points just once in a victory.
Both the Midgets and Cubs are giving up around 32 points per game, but ELC is averaging 57 points on offense compared to 49 by Nevada.
The Midgets are coming off one a good game in Wednesday's 53-32 win over Hampton-Dumont.
Again the Midgets have more weapons that most teams with two career 1,000-point scorers in Allie Sievert (14.4 points per game this season) and Emily Kirchner (13.3 ppg) Also point guard Sara Heywood is averaging 9.2 points per contest, but has averaged 14 points per game in two playoff games.
Regardless of the stats, ELC is looking for its third straight bid to the state tournament.
Looking at the other Class 3A Region final pairings, second ranked MOC_Floyd Valley is taking on unranked South Central Calhoun in Cherokee; ninth-ranked Spirit Lake is taking on unranked Garner-Hayfield/Ventura in Algona; unranked Crestwood is taking on fourth-ranked Cascade in Manchester; top-ranked Davenport Assumption faces 11th-ranked Center Point-Urbana in Wilton; 13th-ranked Mid-Prairie is taking on unranked Williamsburg in Cedar Rapids; eighth-ranked Central Lee is taking on fifth-ranked Bondurant-Farrar in Albia; and unranked red Oak is taking on unranked ADM in Creston.