Ed-Co’s Annie Hoffman scores during the Vikings’ 55-53 win over Central City.

Edgewood-Colesburg’s girls’ basketball team broke a nine-game losing streak — winning for the first time in 44 days — with a tight 55-53 win over Central City, in Edgewood, Jan. 16.

“The girls gave it everything they had for four quarters,” said Ed-Co coach Jenny Lange. “We were in-sync on offense in a way I haven’t seen.”

After the Vikings led the entire first half, Central City’s Sara Reid — who finished with 23 points — hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to send the teams to the halftime break tied at 25-25.

The Wildcats then took their first lead of the night on the opening possession of the third quarter on a layup by Emma Fritcher, but Ed-Co’s Ella Aulwes answered with a three-pointer to regain the lead at 28-27.

Rose Heuchelin’s three stretched the lead to 35-27, and Bailee Helle’s steal and layup kept it at eight, 37-29, midway through the quarter.

A pair of baseline jumpers from Fritcher and turnovers on four possessions in a row by Ed-Co led to a three-pointer from Central City’s Tesla Malloy that narrowed the gap to one, 37-36, heading to the final eight minutes.

Ed-Co’s Annie Hoffman scored a pair of post baskets to make it 41-36 with six minutes remaining, but a Fritcher jumper and another score from Reid narrowed the gap to 41-40.

After the Vikings found a little breathing room to lead by four, Malloy’s three-pointer had the Wildcats within one at 44-43. That’s when Helle hit the shot of the night on the next possession, knocking home a three to make it 47-43 with three minutes to go.

The Vikings then went 6-of-6 from the free throw line — with Ella Aulwes hitting four and Heuchelin two — down the stretch to withstand Central City’s late charge and secure the 55-53 win.

Ed-Co shot 19-of-46 from the field (41%) and the Wildcats 22-of-50 (44%). The Vikings were 9-of-11 from the line, while Central City struggled with a 2-of-9 free throw performance.

“I was really impressed with how all of our girls stepped up to score,” said Lange. “Our guards were able to hit their free throws at the end to always keep it a two-possession game. I’m very proud of our effort tonight.”

Ed-Co’s leaders were: scoring — Ella Aulwes 16, Heuchelin 13, Hoffman 12, Helle eight, Natalie Wessel four, Alex Schmitz two; rebounds — Heuchelin, Hoffman and Wessel six, Helle two, Ella Aulwes one; assists — Ella Aulwes, Helle and Wessel four, Heuchelin one; steals — Helle four, Aulwes three, Hoffman, Heuchelin and Wessel two, Schmitz one; blocks — Hoffman and Wessel one.

The Vikings dropped a 48-34 decision to Alburnett at home, Jan. 14. The Pirates took a 26-17 lead to the halftime break, and outscored Ed-Co by five points in the second half to earn the win.

“I thought we played a good game, but we found out why giving up rebounds and second chance shots is a big deal,” said Lange. “Our shooting was off, but our defense was keeping us in the game until we got in foul trouble and they were able to get to the line.”

Ed-Co’s leaders against Alburnett were: scoring — Helle 13, Ella Aulwes eight, Hoffman five, Heuchelin and Wessel four; rebounds — Hoffman six, Helle five, Lily Aulwes four, Ella Aulwes, Heuchelin and Wessel two: assists — Heuchelin three, Ella Aulwes two, Lily Aulwes and Helle one: steals — Ella Aulwes five, Lily Aulwes and Hoffman four, Helle and Heuchelin three.