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By Jeff Axtell
For Lincoln Prep

WAVERLY---Things got a little tight at the end for Lincoln Christian. But in the end, the Crusaders stay alive in post season play and beat Elmwood-Murdock 45-43 in the Class C2-2 subdistrict finals at Waverly High School Thursday night.

Trailing most of the game, Elmwood-Murdock made a furious fourth quarter comeback to get within 3 on two separate occasions as Erika Stubbendeck connected on 4 3s in the quarter. Stubbendeck had 13 of her team-high 18 points in the last frame, including a 4-point play, in which she was fouled on a 3 to bring the Knights within 6 moments into the fourth quarter.

However, the Crusaders remained cool and collected throughout the final minutes as Christian continued to knock down key free throws after Elmwood-Murdock was forced to start fouling. Joelle Anderson scored all of her 8 fourth quarter points from the line in the final frame and ended up with a game-high 27 points for the Crusaders.

 The game started out really slow as both teams came to play defense. Lincoln Christian utilized a 2-3 zone that confused the Knights early on. Elmwood-Murdock countered with a zone type look of their own as the score was only 2-0 after one quarter of play in favor of Lincoln Christian. Both team's offenses started to click in the second quarter as Christian led 17-10 at intermission. The third quarter was nearly even as Elmwood-Murdock's Megan Schmale scored 10 of her 12 points in the quarter. However, the Knights still found themselves down by ten at the start of the fourth and the deficit was just too much to overcome.

Elmwood-Murdock drops to 19-5, but still might be eligible for the state tournament if the Knights are able to earn one of the two Class C-2 wildcards. Right now the Knights would qualify along with Hartington Cedar Catholic for the two wildcard spots if all the teams ahead of each them win their district finals. Lincoln Christian (15-8) will battle Johnson County Central (8-15) in a district final next Friday (2/25) at a TBA location. Johnson County Central defeated Freeman 33-21 in the Class C2-1 Sub-District final at Auburn.

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