Emmetsburg's Lady E-Hawks took another step in the post-season Tuesday night with a 55-46 victory over Clarion-Goldfield in Class 2A Regional Quarterfinal play at Emmetsburg. With the win, Emmetsburg faces a Regional Semi-final game this Friday, Feb. 21, at Manson, against Manson Northwest Webster in a 7 p.m. contest.
After a first-round bye, the Lady E-Hawks were rested and ready for Tuesday's contest, and came out to play in the opening quarter, running the offense carefully and putting up some solid defense, holding Clarion-Goldfield scoreless for the first 3:00 of the game, and then surrendering just one bucket to take a 10-2 lead at the end of the opening quarter of play.
In the second, however, the Cowgirls mad a run at Emmetsburg, cutting the Lady E-Hawks' lead down to a deuce with just under 4:00 to go in the quarter at 18-16, and then tied the game at 18-18 as Emmetsburg's shooting touch went stone cold for a brief time.
FORCE?THE?PASS - Emmetsburg’s Kate Jackson blocks the route to the bucket and forces Clarion-Goldfield’s Brook Boyd to pass the ball off in Tuesday’s Class 2A Regional tourney game in Emmetsburg. The Lady E-Hawks persevered to take the 55-46 victory over the Cowgirls. -- Dan Voigt photo
But, the Lady E-Hawks kept their composure and made a couple of nice defensive stops to slip back out to a four-point, 23-19 lead at the intermission of the contest.
With the second quarter serving as a preview of what Clarion-Goldfield was capable of, the battle was joined in the second half. Emmetsburg would jump out to a 10-point advantage quickly after the start of the third quarter, but again, some missed shots and some timely shooting by Clarion-Goldfield allowed the Cowgirls to cut the lead back down to four points off a big three-pointer as the quarter ended, making the score 37-33 in favor of Emmetsburg.
It wouldn't get any easier down the stretch in the final quarter, as the two squads battled back and forth as the time ticked away. Emmetsburg would maintain a slim lead, and expanded the advantage to seven points, 50-43, with just over 2:00 to go in the contest, but once again, Clarion-Goldfield would get a couple of key shots to drop and cut that lead back to four points as Emmetsburg went scoreless for over a minute.
Leading 50-46 with :58 to go in the contest, the issue was in doubt. A bucket by Michaela Rehm gave Emmetsburg a little breathing room with :30 to go at 53-46, but on the next trip down the floor, Alexa Naig was fouled on a rebound and went to the line for the double bonus.
The junior drained both shots with :21 ticks left of the clock to put the Lady E-Hawks up 55-46, and solid defense by Emmetsburg forced a turnover by the Cowgirls with :09 to go in the game.
The Lady E-Hawks brought the ball across the half court line and were content to run the clock out for the 55-46 victory and advancement on the tournament trail.
For Emmetsburg, Ashton Connelly would score 18 points and block five shots in the win, while Alexa Naig added 13 hard-fought points to the effort.
Tegan Olson was limited to nine points in the paint, while Michaela Rehm added six points to the winning total. Hadley Egland and Bailey Naig would both chip in four points each to the tally, while Kate Jackson came off the bench to add a free throw to the effort for one point.