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.
Emily Kirchner scored 18 points and sank six straight clutch free throws in the fourth quarter as the third-ranked Midgettes avenged one of their losses with a 49-46 victory over No. 2 MOC-Floyd Valley.
Now, for the second team in three years, Kirchner and her teammates are in the state finals, this time in Class 3A. They'll play top-ranked and two-time defending champion Davenport Assumption for the title at 8 o'clock Friday night.
Estherville-Lincoln Central lost in the Class 2A championship game in 2011.
"We're feeling pretty good," said Kirchner. "That was an exciting game and they're a great team. It was fun, it was competitive and it's exactly what we wanted.We're happy we came away with it and we're going to be ready tomorrow."
"Defensively, Estherville-Lincoln Central just played a heck of a game," said MOC-FV head coach Gary Richardson. "They were out in the passing lanes, they were competitive, they were physical under the basket. And, all of those things over four quarters, wore us down a little bit."
Kirchner led her team with eight rebounds, scored the Midgettes' only field goal of the fourth quarter on a nifty baseline drive and finished 12-for-12 on free throws.
Allie Sievert added 15 points for the winners and came up with five steals.
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 hiked its record to 23-3, with the two other losses coming to Class 2A finalist Western Christian. MOC-Floyd Valley finished 24-2, with its other loss also to Western Christian.
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