For the second time in a row this past week, Estherville Lincoln Central had a halftime lead, but just couldn't seem to close it out.
On Friday, it was Storm Lake stealing a victory on ELC's home floor 78-70.
"This was one of the most disappointing nights," said ELC coach Corey Christopher. "We were making fundamental mistakes on both ends of the floor that we hadn't seen since early in the season.
ELC senior Clay Tredway (34) shoots over Storm Lake’s Kuong Deng in the Midgets’ loss to the Tornadoes on Friday.
Photo by David Swartz
The coach said he thought his team had been making progress before the Christmas break.
"We had a cohesive offensive unit and on defense as well," he said. "That's not what you saw tonight. We have to find the point again where everyone's together."
Storm Lake's Yach Deng had a little to do with ELC's struggles. Deng hit six 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 44 points on the night.
The Midgets also didn't get off to a good start. While ELC players were getting to the basket, they were unable to finish.
Storm Lake's biggest lead in the first quarter was 13-8, but a basket by Clay Tredway and a 3-pointer by Joe Heinrichs cut the deficit to 15-13.
Carsten Bosch gave ELC its first lead in the second quarter with a pair of his free throws tying the game at 25-25 and a basket on the next possession giving ELC a 27-25 lead.
Storm Lake came back to take a 31-30 lead, but a basket by Tredway gave ELC a 32-31 lead at the break.
The third quarter saw the Tornadoes begin to hit even more shots and they took a 49-43 lead into the final period.
Baskets by Justin Heinrichs, Tredway and Kyle DeVary to start the final period, quickly tied the game at 49-49.
Storm Lake kept answering every ELC run and led 62-57 when Justin Heinrichs knocked in a 3-pointer. The game turned though after David Hughes hit a basket to tie the game at 62-62. Hughes was called for a technical after the basket. Storm Lake then went on a 9-0 run.
ELC battled back to within three using a 3-pointer by Bosch and a three-point play by Hughes. But Deng answered every challenge to help Storm Lake to its third win of the season.
Hughes led ELC with 18 points while Bosch scored 14, Justin Heinrichs had 10, Tredway had eight, Joe Heinrichs had seven, Kyle DeVary had five and Bryce Mann had three.
ELC (8-7 overall, 4-5 in the Lakes Conference) is on the road against Cherokee on Tuesday. The Midgets host Spirit Lake next Friday.
In junior varsity play, ELC?defeated Storm Lake 47-29. Kyle DeVary had 11 points, Jack Brashear had seven and Segio Orsornio and Alex Miller each had six.
On Tuesday, the ELC?JV?lost 55-33 to Spencer