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ELC 43, Spirit Lake 40 It’s how you finish

Condon converts game-winning three-point play

December 14, 2016
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

Hazen hits four to help ELC

It's not how you start, it's how you finish.

Tied 40-40, Estherville Lincoln Central's Josie Condon drove to the basket, splitting the Spirit Lake defense for a layup and a foul. With 20 seconds on the clock, Condon made the "and one" to put ELC up 43-40.

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"(ELC coach Tony) Klein just told me to take the ball to the hoop," said Condon. "I wasn't even thinking. After I made it (the layup), everyone was screaming."

Spirit Lake's Anna Brown tried to answer with a 3-pointer from the top of thekey that fell short. ELC grabbed the rebound and Karmen Hazen was fouled. After she missed the front end of a 1-and-1, a scramble ensued for the loose ball that ate up 5 seconds before a jump ball was called. With possession in ELC's favor, the Midgets ran out the final two seconds to preserve the win.

While ELC led most of the night, their biggest lead was six points.

Neither team started well offensively with ELC leading just 6-4 after the opening stanza, courtesy of 3-pointers from Morgan White and Karmen Hazen. Condon hit a 3-pointer to start the second period, but Spirit Lake stormed back to tie the game at 11-11 on a 3-pointer by Carly Hassel.

Spirit Lake tried to push the pace with a full-court press, but ELC broke on consecutive possession, both ending with layups by Rylee Miller. Hazen's second 3-pointer gave ELC a 16-11 lead, but again Spirit Lake wouldn't go away as the Indians trailed by just one, 18-17, at halftime.

In the third quarter, ELC again pushed their lead to five points, thanks to 3-pointers by Hazen and White and two driving layups by Condon made the score 28-23, at the 2:40 mark.

But Spirit Lake went on a 7-0 run to briefly take a 30-28 lead before a 3-pointer by White put ELC on top 31-30 to start the final frame. A free throw line jumper by Molly Diekmann and Hazen's fourth 3-pointer of the night gave the Midgets their biggest lead of the night at 36-30.

Again Spirit Lake wouldn't go away. A basket by Macy Smith got the visitors within two and Hassel tied the game at 40-40.

Spirit Lake had a chance to take the lead, but a five-second call on an inbounds play gave the ball back to ELC for the final scenario.

"I liked that We looked calm and the girls kept their composure," said coach Klein. "Defensively, we were locked on every single possession. No one took a play off the entire night.

"Offensively, we had players contributing and people shooting with confidence," he said.

One of those players was Hazen, who was 1-of-15 from beyond the 3-point arc in ELC's first seven games, but she finished 4-of-7 from the arc against the Indians.

"Karmen stepped up and hit some baskets as they (Spirit Lake) were matched up to Morgan and me," said Condon. "Everyone stepped up and hit the boards in the second half."

White led ELC with 13 points as she was 4-of-13 from the field, but 3-of-7 from 3-point range. Condon finished with 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting. Miller finished with six points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. Diekmann had two points.

ELC shot 36 percent (16-of-45) from the field, but 38 percent (8-of-21) from 3-point range.

ELC (3-5 overall, 2-1 in the Lakes Conference) wraps up the pre-Christmas schedule at Le Mars (4-2, 1-2) on Friday. The Bulldogs' losses are to fourth-ranked Cherokee (3A) and third-ranked Western Christian (2A).



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