STORM LAKE - If only Storm Lake played the first half like they did the second. The Tornadoes scored 48 points in the second half, but only 19 in the first, a half in which they found themselves down by 15 points.
Storm Lake scored 30 fourth-quarter points to make a furious comeback, but it fell short as Estherville came away with a 71-67 victory on Tuesday night at Tornado Fieldhouse.
Estherville jumped out to a 21-6 lead after the first quarter and held a 34-19 halftime advantage. The Midgets led 45-24 when Storm Lake scored 13 straight points to cut it to 45-37. Estherville pushed the lead back up to 50-37 by the end of the third period.
Storm Lake trailed by as much as 10 points with 2 minutes remaining before making it interesting.
Jenny Woodford had a career-high 19 points and three steals for Storm Lake, now 6-11 overall. Brooke Overturf and Billie Blanchard added 12 apiece. Overturf charted five rebounds and three steals, while Mel Fisher handed out five assists.
Storm Lake made 24 of 61 field goals for 39 percent. Estherville was 25 of 51 for 49 percent.
"If we could have had four more minutes, we could have beat this team," Storm Lake coach Stacey VanDerSloot said. "We wore them down. We have an awesome bench that allows us to fullcourt press for three quarters. We made them turn the ball over 27 times. Unfortunately, they outrebounded us 37-21 and had nine putbacks, which gave them 18 points off second chances. When you consider we only had 19 points at halftime and ended up with 67, that is incredible."
‰ Storm Lake won the JV game 55-33. Danielle Lewis scored 16 points, Chelsea Anderson 13 and Kiley Stavnes added 10 for the Tornadoes, now 11-2 in the league and 14-2 overall.