by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Ben Erickson scored his 1,000th career point during a 27-point performance that led Elk River to a 75-67 upset of Robbinsdale Armstrong in their homecourt finale on Friday evening.
“I never thought I’d get 1,000, being 400 points short to start my senior year,’ said Erickson, who’s averaging over 18 points in his fourth varsity season.
Erickson, who switched from wing to post this year, reached 1,000 with a 3-point shot in the second half and has 1,008 heading into playoffs. He had six rebounds, six assists and four 3-pointers in the game.
“It is remarkable what Ben has been able to do this year,” said coach Randy Klasen. “To play as a wing for three seasons at the varsity level and then to switch to a post your season year is a huge challenge. He has become much more of a dominant player this year by taking on the challenge of learning a new position and having a larger impact on what we do as a team.
“Our team was very excited to be a part of Ben’s great accomplishment.”
Tucker Morrell pumped in 18 points, shooting 6-for-8 on 3-pointers. Will Iverson was next with 11 as the 10th-place Elks beat the fourth-place Falcons.
“We finally played a complete game,’ said Erickson. “It was Senior Night, and that’s always extra motivation. There’s only three of us (seniors) but it’s always a big night for the younger guys, too. I know, because I’ve played in three of them before. You want to win for the seniors.”
Marquel Curtis scored 25 for Armstrong. Levi Abercrombie added 16 and KJ Buford 13.
The 6-foot-3 Erickson was a perimeter player his first three years but had to move inside this year because the Elks are thin there. He’s gotten better and better all season at using his guard skills to slice to the hoop.
“I’m having a great time in there,” said Erickson.
The Elks finished 4-16 in conference. They are 7-19 overall heading into Section 8AAAA starting Tuesday. Seeded No. 7, they will play at No. 2 Buffalo, 7 p.m. The Elks beat Buffalo 80-79 in the season opener but the Bison have a 19-7 record and won the Mississippi 8 championship.
Elk scoring — Ben Erickson 27,Tucker Morrell 18, Will Iverso 11, Porter Morrell 8, Ryan Ness 3, Landon Werner 3, Clay Elrod 3, Nate Arens 2.
Final NWSC standings
Champlin Park 16-4
Maple Grove 11-9
Park Center 8-12
Elk River 4-16
Coon Rapids 2-18