by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Ben Erickson poured in 40 points, made all 18 of his free shots, and helped Elk River build a 13-point lead in the second half Tuesday evening.
But the Elks lost to Anoka anyway, 94-86 in overtime at home, mainly because Marcus Tyus was even better, scorching the nets for 46 points, and because the Tornadoes made their last 21 free shots.
Erickson, 6-foot-3 senior forward, dropped in 11 field goals with furious drives to the hoop and drew enough fouls to get the other 18 at the free throw line. He had 33 points in regulation and 7 in overtime.
Erickson, who lifted his average 18.0 points per game, had a previous career high of 26 two games ago. His 18-for-18 at the line broke Jack Gavin’s team record of 12-for-12. He was 11-for-14 on two’s and missed his four 3-pointers. He had 10 reb ounds and two steals.
His 40 points are four short of the team record. Skipp Schaefbauer is the only other Elk to top 40 points, with 44 against Park-Cottage Grove and 41 against Totino-Grace, both in 1992.
Tyus, a 6-foot-1 junior guard, made 14 field goals, 6 of them 3-pointers, and was 11-for-12 at the line. He had 38 in regulation and was 8-for-8 on free shots in the overtime.
Tyus is averaging 22 points and his previous high was 27. He missed the first Elk game with a wrist injury but Anoka won 70-59.
“There were a lot of positives tonight, and Ben played an awesome game,” said Elk coach Randy Klasen.
The Elks led 68-55 with six minutes left. Anoka clamped on some full-court pressure that bothered the Elks and started to close the gap.
The Elks still had a 74-69 lead and the ball with 1:05 left, but had passes intercepted on two straight possessions, and Anoka’s Spencer Grow tied the score with two drives to the hoop that netted a 3-point play and two free shots.
Erickson had a chance to break the 74-74 tie when the Elks got him the ball on the blocks with two seconds left. Tightly guarded, he tried to bank it in but put it up too hard.
Anoka’s momentum carried into the overtime as they outscored the Elks 20-12.
The Elks (2-13 conference, 5-16 overall) led 40-38 at the half.
Tucker Morrell delivered 13 points, Ryan Ness 12, and Will Iverson 11. Clay Elrod and Nate Arens had 3 each.
Grow and Eric Jordan sank 17 each for the Tornadoes (7-8 conference, 10-10 overall).
The Elks play at Park Center on Friday.