Lady E’Hawks Win Tourney Opener
Emmetsburg’s Lady E’Hawks started their second season on a positive note Saturday night with a 55-54 victory over Sioux Central in Class 2A Girls District Tournament play. The win advances Coach John Kennedy’s Lady E’Hawks to the district final tonight (Tuesday) at Milford, for a 7 p.m. matchup with Okoboji.
Saturday night’s game pitted the 3-18 Lady E’Hawks against the 11-10 Rebels of Sioux Central. While Sioux Central was able to get out to a small lead early, Emmetsburg never slipped too far out of reach, and trailed by just three points, 15-12, at the end of the opening quarter of play.
The two ballclubs battled evenly through the second quarter, with Emmetsburg struggling on a couple of occasions with ball control issues, as the Rebels managed to create a couple of turnovers that they exploited to edge out to a six point, 29-23 lead at the half-time break.
Emmetsburg came out of the locker room ready to play in the second half and immediately turned up the heat defensively against the Rebels. Slowly but surely, the Lady E’Hawks chipped away at Sioux Central’s lead, whittling the advantage down until they tied the score and eventually took a 42-39 lead at the end of the third quarter.
With just eight minutes of the season remaining for one of the two teams, the final quarter of play provided all of the intensity one could ask for.
Starting the quarter with a three-point lead, the Lady E’Hawks built their lead to seven points, 47-40, with just under 6:00 to play in the game. A quick bucket gave Emmetsburg a 49-40 lead, but Sioux Central suddenly made a couple of baskets to cut the margin back to five points, and the two teams would trade buckets back and forth in the final couple of minutes.
The defensive struggles continued as the clock hit 1:00 and the seconds began ticking down. But with :33 to go and Emmetsburg clinging to a 55-54 lead, the Lady E’Hawks stubbornly protected the basketball until Tiffany Wollum was fouled with :14 to go in the game. Wollum went to the foul line, but missed the front end of the one-and-one.
Sioux Central got the rebound and drove downcourt, trying for the last shot, but with :02 to go, a shot banged off the rim and a battle for the rebound ran the clock out as Emmetsburg had saved the win.
Emmetsburg was led in the victory by Kayla Herbers’ 13 point effort. Tiffany Wollum added 12 points, while Maddison Woodruf chipped in10 points. Molly Clasing had three three-point field goals for nine points and Mollie Smith rounded out the effort with four points.
The task ahead is not easy, as the Lady E’Hawks will journey to Milford to take on Okoboji in Tuesday night’s District Final. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Okoboji High School. The winner will advance to the regional semi s on Feb. 15.