Okoboji boys end season with last-second loss to Midgets
In a season full of heartbreaking losses, the Okoboji boys basketball team suffered maybe the most painful loss of all Thursday in a 51-48 loss to Estherville Lincoln Central in the first round of the district tournament in Inwood.
Knotted at 48-48 late in the fourth quarter, the Midgets ran nearly a full minute off of the clock. After several fouls and a pair of timeouts, ELC guard Jacob Heinrichs got the ball at the top of the key.
The junior dribbled right, then crossed back over to his left before rising up for a deep three-point attempt. Heinrichs double-clutched, then lofted a one-handed fling toward the hoop. The ball rattled home at the buzzer, ending the Pioneers season.
It was the ninth loss by five points or less for the Okoboji squad this year.
To that point, the Pioneers hung tight throughout a contest that both squads had to travel an hour and a half to play.
ELC got out to an early 9-2 lead in the opening stanza. Following a Pioneer timeout, a couple of Kip Hurd layups eventually knotted the contest at 10-10, but ELC ended the quarter on a 7-0 run to lead 17-10 after one.
The Midgets got out to another 9-2 lead to start the second and kept the pressure on, extending their lead to 30-18 at the half.
As they have all season, the Pioneers continued to fight in the second half. Thanks to 11 third-quarter points by Logan Abrahamson, Okoboji pulled ahead 41-40 after three, but the Pioneers couldn't hang on.
Hurd finished with a team-high 15 points for the Pioneers, who end their season with a 3-18 overall record.
Playing their final basketball games in an Okoboji uniform were seniors Preston Harms, Bryce Peter and Brandon Svoboda.