Algona Girls Basketball Eliminated by ELC

by Tyler Lance
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The girls basketball season is over for the Algona Bulldogs, while the Estherville Lincoln Central Midgets are headed back to Wells Fargo Arena to continue their state title defense following an 82-40 win over the Bulldogs in the Class 3A – Region 1 final.

It was the Stokes sisters carrying the load for the Midgets, as they’ve done throughout the season, as sophomore Haylee Stokes scored 24 points, while senior Jordyn Stokes scored 23, hitting 6/11 three point attempts.

Algona struggled to settle in during the first few minutes of the game, dealing with early turnover issues and spotting ELC a 12-0 lead before sophomore Lauren McLaughlin scored Algona’s first bucket of the game with 3:53 left in the first quarter.

ELC led 17-4 at the end of one, but the Bulldogs found their shooting touch in the second, hitting four of their five three point attempts in the quarter, while cutting down on the turnovers to stay afloat. ELC had a slim 23-20 scoring advantage in the second to take a 40-24 lead into halftime.

The Midgets would ultimately catch fire again coming out in the second half, outscoring the Bulldogs 42-16 over the final 16 minutes of gameplay to punch their state ticket for the second year in a row, and win their 41st game in a row overall. Senior Tora Solbach had a career night for Algona in her final high school game, leading the Bulldogs with 18, while McLaughlin finished with 12. In addition to the Stokes sisters, ELC also received 15 points and 9 rebounds from sophomore Rylee Yager.

Ultimately, ELC’s high pressure defense and hot shooting were too much for Algona to overcome. ELC had a 20-2 turnover advantage, while shooting 49% from the field and 11/26 on 3s, in addition to hitting 11 of their 13 free throw attempts. The Midgets were able to limit the Bulldog three point attempts, as Algona only attempted ten on the night, making four.

The season ends with a record of 17-7 for Algona, while ELC moves to 24-0.

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