Basketball: Osseo foils Elks’ bid for conference lead 67-62

Clay Elrod of the Elks drove past Ian Theisen for a layup in the first half. Elrod had 23 points. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

One more down-to-the-wire victory by the Elk River Elks would have tied them for first place.

However, conference leader Osseo fended off the Elks 67-62, scoring the game’s last six points in the final 30 seconds, at ERHS on Monday evening.

Ryan Ness (12) of the Elks drove to the hoop where he was subdued by Osseo's 6-9 Ian Theisen. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

The Elks rallied from a nine-point deficit in the second half and took a 62-61 lead with 54 seconds left when Clay Elrod sank one of two free shots. The 6-foot-5 sophomore was game-high with 23 points.

But Osseo’s 6-foot-9 sophomore Ian Theisen struck for a three-point play with :29 left off a good feed from D.J. Hebert, drawing the foul from Elrod. On the other end, Theisen rebounded when Ryan Ness missed a driving layup, got fouled by Ness and buried two more free shots for a 66-62 lead.

Theisen had 16 points and 16 rebounds for Osseo. Junior guard Bridgeport Tusler sniped for 21 points.

The Elks (11-6) had won four straight, and six of seven. They had won all six previous conference games that went down to the final half-minute. The Elks made this one another such nail-biter against a team that beat them 70-42 on Dec. 13.

The No. 7 ranked Orioles (16-2 overall) are now 11-1 in the NWSC, opening a two-game lead over Elk River and Champlin Park, each 9-3.

Elrod shot 10-for-17 in leading the Elks.  Ness had 12 points, all in the first half.

The Elks will play at Coon Rapids on Thursday evening.

Osseo 67, Elk River 62

Elk River – Tucker Morrell 7, Ryan Ness 12 (5 reb), Porter Morrell 7 (5 ast), Clay Elrod 23 (6 reb), Terry Hadden 3, Landon Werner 5, Coleman Hayes 5 … Team: 23-49 FG (7-19 3FG), 9-11 FT; 26 rebounds; 17 fouls

Terry Hadden launched a 3-pointer in the first half. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Osseo – Michael Bush 2, Bryan Gichaba 9, DJ Hebert 13, Will Jjohnson 2, Ian Theisen 16 (16 reb), Bridgeport Tusler 20 … Team: 25-55 FG (7-17 3FG), 10-18 FT, 31 rebounds, 17 fouls.