MILFORD - Santa must have been watching. The Emmetsburg E-Hawks, denied in their last four games, received an early Christmas present Thursday night with a 68-51 win over the Okoboji Pioneers.
The win closes out the first half of the season for the E-Hawks, who improved to 3-4 with the non-conference win on the road to start the holiday break.
Emmetsburg opened a little tentative on the offensive end, needed a couple of possessions to get a rhythm going but once things started to flow, the E-Hawks would close the first quarter out with a wild play, as Ryan Kliegl would put up a desperation heave from behind the half-court line, in front of the E-Hawk bench, that hit nothing but net as it banged home for a 14-7 lead.
Emmetsburg’s Zach Overberg beats out a trio of Okoboji defenders on a fast break in Thursday, 68-51 E-Hawk victory at Milford. Overberg would tally 16 points in the win to lead the E-Hawks. --Dan Voigt photo
The game would stay close through the second quarter, as Kliegl would be tagged with a third foul, which prompted Emmetsburg Coach Mike Brennan to send sophomore Michael Pugh to the floor, where he calmly drained a pair of shots from downtown to keep the E-Hawks fired up. At the break, Emmetsburg was clinging to a 24-19 advantage.
The game stayed close in the third quarter, with Okoboji staying within five to eight points as the E-Hawks led 41-33 at the end of the quarter.
But in the final frame, the E-Hawks took over. Ryan Kliegl, playing with four fouls, would drive repeatedly to the bucket and tallied 10 points as the E-Hawks broke the game open to take the 17 point margin of victory.
Emmetsburg had four players in double figures, with Zach Overberg scoring 16 points and Ryan Kliegl added 15, while Marcus Akridge scored 14 and Jake Carlson added 10. Michael Pugh tallied nine points, while Austin Krause added three points and Brady Berkland made a free throw.