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ELC 50, GT/RA 34 Defense key to Midget victory

December 23, 2018
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

TERRIL - For the third straight game, one big quarter proved to the difference for the Estherville Lincoln Central girls, as they defeated Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire 50-34 on Thursday.

Leading just 11-8 after the first quarter, the Midgets outscored the Titans 24-7 in the second quarter to take a 30-15 lead at halftime. GT/RA made a small run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth to get within nine at 40-31. However, ELC held the hosts to just three points the rest of the way for the win.

"We did an outstanding job on defense and rebounding excepting for losing (GT/RA's) Toni Alesch three straight times," said ELC coach Don Martindale, who also commended senior Lindsey Jensen for her defensive effort.

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ELC's defense throughout the night concentrated on GT/RA's leading scorers-Madison Hough (14.0 points per game) and Alesch (13.1 ppg).

Both Titan players faced double and triple teams went trying to drive to the basket.

Meanwhile, the first quarter ended with Jadynn Moore breaking an 8-8 tie with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

In ELC's big second quarter, Jaydan Nitchals heated up from long range with four 3-pointers in the period. Brianne Vermeys also had a 3-pointer, as well as a three-point play in the 24-point stanza.

ELC stretched its lead to 17 points in the third quarter after consecutive 3-pointers by Nitchals and Kaitlyn Tendal made the score 38-21. However that's when Alesch responded with consecutive 3-pointers of her one and a driving layup to cut the lead to 38-29. A layup by Nitchals pushed ELC's advantage back to double digits, 40-29, to start the final frame.

Alesch opened the fourth quarter with her final field goal to get back within nine points at 40-31.

However, ELC's Josie Condon responded with a 3-pointer and layup to push ELC's advantage back to 14, 45-31.

Nitchals finished with a game-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Condon and Vermeys each had eight points while Jensen, Tendal and Moore each had five. Condon also pulled down 12 rebounds, helping ELC to a 30-22 advantage on the boards. Tendal finished with four of ELC's 10 assists.

Alesch was the only Titan in double digits with 15 while Chloe Bakken had eight, Hough had seven and Kylea Fehr and Lauren Josephson each had two. Bakken had a team-high seven rebounds while Hough had three steals and two assists.

GT/RA (6-4 overall) returns to action in 2019 on Friday, Jan. 4 on the road against Manson-Northwest Webster.

ELC (7-4 overall) opens the New Year on Jan. 4 at home against Spencer.



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