ARMSTRONG - The Estherville-Lincoln Central boys basketball team gave up the lead just once in a 65-46 nonconference victory over the North Union Warriors on Monday night in Armstrong.
The Warriors, who trailed in the opening quarter - thanks to the Midgets' full-court pressure - were able to stake a comeback on the shooting of Jacob Braddock and Matt Adams.
After fighting through the ELC pressure, Braddock knocked down a 3 and was able to score two baskets from in the lane on the press-break offense to get the Warriors within one, trailing 14-12 in the final minute of the first.
QUICK TWO — North Union senior Jacob Braddock (22) goes up for an easy basket against Estherville-Lincoln Central’s Brad Olsen (45) in a nonconference basketball game on Monday night in Armstrong. The Warriors’ Shane Mills (44), Matt Adams (10) and Kaleb Olson (20) look for a rebound along with the Midgets’ Matt Burrell (13). Photo by Leanna Becker
The North Union defense held its ground, and grabbed a rebound as the clock wound down. With 12 seconds left on the clock, Adams drained a 3 from the top of the key to give the Warriors the opening frame 15-14 lead.
"I thought that when we handled the pressure and took care of the ball we were able to get some layups and did well," said North Union head coach Kurt Fothergill.
ELC didn't let up on its pressure, though, and in the second quarter junior Joe Heinrichs took control for the Midgets, scoring the first seven points to take back the lead at 21-15.
Foul trouble in the second quarter helped the visitors to widen the margin, with senior Matt Burrell sinking 5 of 8 free throws in the opening half to help his team stake a 35-25 lead at the half.
"We played pretty darn well, considering how banged up and sick we are. Unfortunately they took a lead in the second quarter and we just couldn't dig ourselves out of that hole," Fothergill said.
The Midgets came out of halftime and responded offensively in the third quarter, scoring 14 points to keep the Warriors out of reach at 49-37 at the end of three.
Warriors senior Shane Mills, who scored just two points in the opening half, tried to ignite the hometown team's offense, scoring six points in the third quarter.
In the final period, the Midgets defense shut down the Warriors, allowing just nine points and scoring 16 to seal the victory.
North Union's Colton McConnell closed the gap, hitting a 3 with seven minutes on the clock to make it 49-40.
The Midgets' Adam Reiter would dash any Warrior hopes on the next possession, draining a 3 from the right wing to make it 52-42.
Estherville-Lincoln Central was led by Burrell and Tyler Swanson, who each scored 13 points, while Heinrichs had nine.
The Midgets went 50 percent from the charity stripe, sinking 13 of 26 free throws, and shot 14-for-38 from the floor.
Braddock's offense in the opening half led the Warriors with 15 points, while Mills' second half fireworks garnered him 12.
McConnell and Adams each grabbed six rebounds for the Warriors, with McConnell also tallying nine points.
North Union went 7-for-19 from the free throw line, and offensively was just under the .500 mark, shooting 14 of 38.
North Union (0-6) travels to Everly for a 7:30 p.m. Corn Belt Conference game against Clay Central-Everly tonight.
Estherville-Lincoln Central (3-2) travels to Storm Lake for a 7:30 p.m. game tonight.
Martin Luther 56, Southwest Star Concept 53 - The Knights' girls basketball team trailed 19-22 at halftime, but came back in the second half to win 56-53 in a nonconference game over the Wildcats in Okabena on Monday night.
Amber Schulz recorded a double-double, scoring 13 points, going 3-for-4 from the free throw line, and grabbing 11 rebounds to help pace the Knights offense.
Hunter Payne had ice water in her veins, sinking 10 of 16 free throws and scoring 12 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists for the Knights.
Effie Bentz scored eight points and pulled down eight rebounds to help balance the offensive attack.
Bentz made a perfect 2 of 2 free throws and doled out three assists.
As a team, the Knights made 18 of 28 free throws and went 18-for-53 from the floor.
Martin Luther (4-1, 3-0 Valley Conference) travels to Nicollet for a 7:30 p.m. Valley Conference game on Thursday.