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Ed-Co’s Alex Schmitz drives the basketball during the Vikings’ 54-37 Class 1A Region 3 loss at East Buchanan, Feb. 11.

East Buchanan advanced in Class 1A Region 3 tournament play with a 54-37 win over Edgewood-Colesburg, in Winthrop, Feb 11. East Buchanan defeated the Vikings for the third time this season, and improved to 12-9, while a young Ed-Co team ended the campaign at 2-19.

“While I felt we handled the full-court press this time around, we did not do the job we needed to when it came to setting up and executing our half-court offense,” said Ed-Co coach Steve Putz. “Turnovers have been an issue for us all year long and tonight was no different.”

East Buchanan’s Lauren Donlea was the difference in this one, as the junior sharpshooter dominated the second half and finished with 26 points on the night.

The Vikings were in the mix in the opening quarter, and an Ella Aulwes three-pointer — her first of three on the night — tied things at 9-9 before EB scored the next 14 points to lead 23-9 midway through period two on the way to a 24-13 halftime advantage.

Ed-Co played well out of the break, and consecutive three balls from Aulwes had the Vikings within six, 27-21, after four minutes of the third. But East Buchanan answered with seven points in a row to lead 34-21 before freshman Audrie Helmrichs scored three times inside to narrow the gap to 37-28 heading to the final eight minutes.

“Even when Ella made the back-to-back threes, EB had an answer,” said Putz. “It seemed like that all night long. We’d make a run and they would answer.”

The Bucs got the ball in Donlea’s hands in the fourth period, and she responded by hitting nine-of-10 from the line the rest of the way. EB’s Lacy Andreregg knocked down a pair of three-pointers for good measure on the way to the 17-point win.

“We had to foul to try and stop the clock and get the ball back, but EB did a nice job making their free throws,” Putz concluded.

Ed-Co’s scoring was led by Aulwes with 16. Annie Hoffman and Helmrichs were tough inside with eight, Emma Pape scored three and Addy Kirby added two.

Defending Class 2A State Champion North Linn made the trip to Edgewood for a makeup contest, Feb. 8, and took home a 65-28 win.

The Lynx led 27-25 at the half, but things went sour offensively for Ed-Co in the second half as the Vikings managed only three points.

Ed-Co’s leaders against North Linn were: scoring — Aulwes 12, Annie Hoffman eight, Addy Kirby five, Audrie Helmrichs three; three-point goals — Aulwes and Kirby one; rebounds — Helmrichs six, Aulwes four, Marin Gaul and Hoffman three, Kirby and Alex Schmitz two, Mikayla Thein one; assists — Gaul three, Kirby, Helmrichs, Hoffman and Schmitz one; steals — Kirby and Gaul one; team shooting — 10-of-39 (25.6%); team free throws — six-of-10 (60%); turnovers — 19.

The Vikings picked up win number two on the season — both over Starmont — with a 42-26 win over the Stars at Ed-Co Elementary, Feb. 10.

Ed-Co shot only 28% in the contest, but it was a solid defensive effort that paved the way, as Starmont shot 23% from the field and converted only seven-of-17 free throws while committing 28 turnovers.

Ed-Co’s leaders against Starmont were: scoring — Helmrichs 11, Hoffman nine, Aulwes and Kirby seven, Gaul five, Schmitz three; three-point goals — Gaul one; rebounds — Hoffman 10, Helmrichs six, Kirby five, Gaul and Schmitz three, Aulwes, Thein and Schyler Meyer one; assists— Kirby three, Aulwes and Hoffman two; steals — Schmitz five, Hoffman four, Kirby and Helmrichs three, Aulwes, Gaul and Meyer one; team shooting — 14-of-50 (28%); team free throws — 13-of-27 (48.1%); turnovers — 19.