Basketball: Free throws help Elk boys tip Cougars 57-53

The winning edge came at the free throw  line as the Elk River Elks slipped past the Centennial Cougars 57-53 on Friday evening in Circle Pines.

Junior guard Porter Morrell sank nine of 10 at the line on the way to 19 points, and soph center Clay Elrod cashed nine of 11 and totaled 17 points.

Morrell and Elrod each hit 4-for-7 from the field while the Elks struggled otherwise (16-for-43). But the Elks sank 20 of 28 free shots while Centennial was just 6-for-9.

Elk River has won four straight, and seven of eight, in improving to 9-2 in conference and 11-5 overall. First-place Osseo (10-1 in conference) is the next opponent, Monday evening at home.

Jared Nelson potted 16 points and Dan Becken 13 for Centennial.

The Elks have two wins over a good Cougar team that’s now 7-4 in conference and 10-5 overall. They won 81-64 in December.

Elk River 57, Centennial 53

Elk River ………. 23  34 — 57
Centennial …… 27  26 – 53

Elk River – Tucker Morrell 5, Ryan Ness 8, Porter Morrell 19 (9-10 FT), Clay Elrod 17 (8 reb, 9-11 FT), Terry Hadden 2, Landon Werner 4,  Coleman Hayes 2 … Team: 16-43 FG (5-17 3FG), 20-28 FT, 27   rebounds, 15 fouls

Centennial – Jared Nelson 16, Josh Dewitt 2, Dan Becken 13, Nick Major 7, Christian Malinwski 2, Quin Peterson 8, Ben Walker 3, David Snell 2 … Team: 20-47 FG (7-19 3FG), 6-9 FT, 25 rebounds, 20 fouls

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