Basketball: Elk girls stave off Blaine 39-36

Makenziie Frericks (top) of the Elks tumbled to the floor with Blaine's Amanda Schwengler and tried to wrestle the ball away. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Four 3-point shots by Annie Sizen helped tip the scales for Elk River as the Elks won a sloppy, low-scoring tussle over the Blaine Bengals 39-36 on Friday evening.

Each team was riddled with turnovers, and the Elks were shaky at the free throw line, 8-for-18.

Annie Sizen follows through on a 3-point bullseye in the second half. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

“Not the prettiest game to watch, but I’ll take an ugly conference win like this any day,” said coach Reed Caouette.

Sizen, senior guard, nailed four of five attempts from outside the arc for a team-high 12 points. Jordyn Sohns added nine points and Makenzie Frericks eight.

Blaine got 14 points from 5-10 forward Hannah Chuinard on seven field goals. The Bengals had only two free throw attempts in the game and missed both.

Elk River led 37-26 after two straight 3-pointers by Sizen, then  started to take time off the clock by passing around the perimeter. Blaine was able to capitalize on three missed free shots and some turnovers to close the gap. With 50 seconds left Blaine was down 38-36 and had the ball.

The Elks made two defensive stops, then got the lead back to three when Sohns hit the second of two free shots with 10 seconds left.

With only two fouls on them in the second half at that point, the Elks fouled Blaine twice to impede their efforts. Blaine fired up a 3-pointer at the buzzer that almost hit.

“Give the girls credit for being hard nosed and sticking with it, and doing what we needed at the end to win,” said Caouette.

The Elks are 8-8 in conference and 12-10 overall, with two wins over Blaine, now 9-8 in conference and 11-12 overall. Caouette noted that this marked the first time in his five years that the Elks have swept Blaine.

Kayti Hanson had just 6 points and a slew of turnovers in an off-night for the senior point guard. Emily Eklund and Mikayla Macomber scored 2 points each.

The Elks were missing  senior post Victoria Jenson, who was ill.

The Elks will play at Anoka on Tuesday.

Jordyn Sohns of the Elks tries to maneuver against Blaine's Taylor King. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

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