LeMARS - The first Lakes Conferrence road trip of the season produced a split for Emmetsburg's basketball teams Friday night. The Lady E-Hawks came home from LeMars with a pleasing 49-41 victory over the Bulldog girls. But the E-Hawk boys didn't enjoy as much success as they came home with a three-point, 66-63 loss to the Bulldogs.
For Coach John Kennedy's Lady E-Hawks, Friday's win improved the season mark to 1-1 in the Lakes, along with a 3-1 overall mark on the year.
Emmetsburg and LeMars would battle evenly through the entire contest, with the Lady E-Hawks taking a slim, one-point, 8-7 lead at the end of the first quarter of action.
The Lady E-Hawks continued to battle through the second quarter and were able to maintain their lead at the halftime break, with a 22-20 advantage over LeMars.
The second half of play would see Emmetsburg continued to work hard for good shots and hustling on defense to edge out to a 35-30 lead when the third quarter concluded.
In the final stanza, Emmetsburg would not relent, getting back on defense and making shots they needed to come away with the 49-41 victory.
Freshman Ashton Connelly led Emmetsburg with 17 points on the night, while Paige Naig would earn the double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Kaity Degen added nine points to the scoring effort, with Faith Schmidt adding four points. Alexa Naig would chip in three markers, with Hadley Egland adding two points to round out the offensive effort.
Defensively, Paige Naig's 10 rebounds were followed up by Ashton Connelly with eight boards.
The Lady E-Hawks connection 16 of 33 shots from the field and connected on 17 of 24 shots at the charity stripe.
"We played pretty solid ball Friday night,"?noted Head Coach John Kennedy. "There are things we can continue to improve on, but we're coming along."
For Coach Mike Brennan's E-Hawks, the boys contest was also a close affair once things got rolling on Friday.
The E-Hawks struggled out of the starting blocks, however, trailing by as many as 10 points early, 14-4, before shaking off the cobwebs and cutting the deficit to three points, 18-15, at the end of the opening quarter of play.
In the second quarter, Emmetsburg would battle closely with the Bulldogs throughout eight minutes of play, but LeMars would hold a slim, five-point lead over the E-Hawks with a 34-29 tally.
Emmetsburg would not surrender after the tough first half. The E-Hawks came out in the second quarter and caught the Bulldogs in the third quarter, trading buckets with LeMars on their way to a 47-47 tie at the end of the three quarters of play.
The lead of the game would go back and forth in the final eight minutes of the game, with the two teams never being able to get more than three points up on their opponents.
But with the clock winding down, Emmetsburg would lose the services of Jake Carlson and Marcus Akridge to fouls in the final two minutes.
LeMars would make free throws down the stretch and would take a three-point, 66-63 lead with :07 to go. Emmetsburg set up for a final shot but couldn't get a three-point shot to fall at the buzzer.
For the E-Hawks, Jake Jackson would lead all scorers on the night with 22 points. Ryan Kliegl added 15 points to the Emmetsburg effort an Zach Overberg scored 12 points. Marcus Akridge would add six points on the night, while Jake Carlson scored four points and Austin Krause added four points coming off the bench.
Ryan Kliegl dished out seven assists to his teammates on the night and Jake Jackson handed out five assists.
Emmetsburg connected on 26 of 41 shots from the field in the contest, while LeMars made 16 of 39 shots. At the three-point line, however, the E-Hawks hit just two of five shots, while the Bulldogs made seven of 18 attempts.
At the free throw line, Emmetsburg made five of five shots, while LeMars canned 13 of 16 shots.
"We were really cold to start the game," noted Emmetsburg Head Coach Mike Brennan said, "But the kids battled back from a 14-4 deficit to cut it to three at the end of the quarter. But, I?really thought this was as good as a high school game as you could get this early in the season. It was a good, hard-fought, clean game."
Emmetsburg will host Spencer Tuesday night.