Estherville-Lincoln Central’s all-senior starting lineup is getting a chance to play one more game and it will be for a state championship as they downed MOC Floyd Valley 49-46 in a Class 3A semifinal Thursday night.
Emily Kirchner scored 18 points and sank six straight clutch free throws in the fourth quarter as the third-ranked Midgettes avenged one of just three losses with a 49-46 victory over Number two MOC-Floyd Valley. Allie Sievert added 15 points for the winners and came up with five steals.
The Lady Dutch finish the year with a 24-2 record with their only other loss coming to Western Christian who will play for the Class 2A title. Alexis Conaway had another solid game for MOC-Floyd Valley, putting up 22 points to go with 12 rebounds and six steals. Katie Landhuis scored 11 points and Sam Wielenga had six for the Lady Dutch, who were the 3A runners-up last year.
Estherville-Lincoln Central trailed 14-6 late in the first quarter, then stunned the Lady Dutch with a 24-4 run spanning halftime to open a 28-18 lead. But the Lady Dutch, who beat the Midgettes 42-33 in the second game of the regular season, were far from finished.
Conaway set up Landhuis for a short jumper, then stole the ball and made a layup, sparking an 11-2 run that cut the lead 39-38. Estherville-Lincoln Central responded with steady free throw shooting, making 10 of 12 in the final 2:24 to close out a 49-46 win and move on to the finals against 24-1 Davenport Assumption who won the upper bracket semi 63-26 over Cascade.