Leuer Leads Lady E-Hawks In Wins
The wins have been few and far between for the Emmetsburg Lady E-Hawks so far this season, but following a pair of wins to start the week, there’s some growing confidence for the ball club.
“I think the girls are seeing that they can play with any team,”?noted Head Coach John Kennedy. “This is a good time to be stepping up to the next level.”
That first step came on Monday with a come-from-behind 40-35 win over Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn and then a 49-38 victory over Lakes Conference rival Cherokee on Tuesday. The wins improve the Lady E-Hawks to 5-8 overall and 2-6 in the league.
Against HMS on Monday, the Lady E-Hawks were their own worst enemy in the first half, as unforced turnovers limited Emmetsburg to a lone bucket in the first quarter and a 16-2 deficit. Settling in a bit, the Lady E-Hawks actually outscored the Hawks 10-9 in the second frame, but trailed 27-12 at the break.
Emmetsburg came out of the lockerroom with a renewed sense of purpose in the second half, and kept chipping away at the Hawks on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court, holding HMS to a lone bucket in the third while adding 10 points to their tally for a 22-29 score to start the final quarter.
Emmetsburg’s defense continued to play hard in the final quarter, allowing the Hawks to score just six points, while the offense kept chipping away. After a three-pointer by Kaity Degen cut the deficit to four points, 31-27, with 4:50 to go in the game, Emmetsburg went on to take the lead on a put-back shot by Leuer with 1:34 to go at 36-35.
HMS?would not score again in the game as the Lady E-Hawks would make free throws down the stretch and put the game away off a one-and-one by Leuer with :11 to go to earn the 40-35 win, outscoring HMS 28-8 in the final half of the game.
Nicole Leuer would lead the offensive effort for Emmetsburg with 15 points on the night, while Faith Schmidt added nine. Kaity Degen came away with seven tallies and Paige Naig scored six, with Justine Kummer added three to the final tally.
Returning to the conference wars on Tuesday, Emmetsburg had a little issue of revenge on their minds from an earlier season loss to the Cherokee Braves.
The Lady E-Hawks went to work right out of the chute, taking a 15-3 lead over the Braves at the end of the first quarter. Emmetsburg would extend its’ lead to 29-15 at the end of the first half despite a scare when senior Nicole Leuer was run down from behind and bashed a knee hard on the court.
Leuer would re-enter the game before the end of the quarter to help preserve the lead for Emmetsburg.
Cherokee was able to find some offensive flow of their own in the third quarter, but Emmetsburg would eventually match the Braves’ baskets with buckets of their own to maintain the 17 point, 38-21 lead at the end of the third frame.
In the final quarter, the play became even more physical as the Braves tried to hurry the game up, pressuring Emmetsburg the entire time, but the Lady E-Hawks held firm. Cherokee would stage a furious comeback, managing to score 17 points in the final eight minutes of the game, but the Lady E-Hawks would counter with 11 points of their own to keep the lead and win by the 49-38 final tally.
Once again, free throws down to the wire proved to be a major factor in Emmetsburg’s victory. In the last minute of the game, the Lady E-Hawks went to the line four times on bonus shots and made six of the eight opportunities.
Once again, Nicole Leuer led Emmetsburg with five treys for a career night and 23 points. Paige Naig added 12, while Faith Schmidt chipped in seven points. Justine Kummer added four points and Kaity Degen rounded out the scoring with three points.