by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Last-second shots have now victimized the Elk River Elks in two straight games, a sharp reversal of fortune for a team that had been winning close ones all season.
Anoka’s dynamic guard Marcus Tyus hit a fade-away jumper from the baseline as time ran out, beating the Elks 68-67 on Tuesday evening at ERHS.
Clay Elrod had given the Elks a 67-66 lead with two free shots with 7.5 seconds left, capping a 17-for-20 showing by the Elks at the line.
Anoka called time out, inbounded from mid-court, and got the ball to Tyus, a 6-1 senior guard averaging 25 points. Tyus released the ball a split second before the horn.
“That’s two games in a row we were leading with less than a second left and somebody hit a shot and we lost,” said Elk coach Randy Klasen. “It’s hard to lose games like that. It’s been tough on the kids. They’ve done a great job getting themselves in position to win.”
In an overtime loss at Blaine last Friday, the Bengals hit a 3-pointer with zeroes on the clock to tie in regulation. One referee waved it off, but the other referee changed the call, saying it was launched on time.
Before that, the Elks had been 6-0 in NWSC games that went down to the final seconds. The two losses dropped the Elks to 10-5 in conference and 14-7 overall. Anoka, which lost to the Elks 68-53 on Jan. 3, is now 5-10 and 6-15.
Anoka has two mercurial guards. While Tyus poured in 28 points, shooting 12-for-15, his senior running mate Ryan Rand added 21 points, shooting 9-for-12. Both were slashing to the hoop all night.
Elrod, sophomore cener, scored 17 for the Elks. Tucker Morrell and Ryan Ness sank 11 each, with Ness also delivering 8 rebounds and 9 assists.
The Elks will play at Park Center on Friday.
Anoka 68, Elk River 67
Anoka – Cole Bougher 7 (8 reb), Mike Wilkerson 2, Ryan Rand 21, Malcolm Seals 2, Marcus Tyus 28 (6 reb), Brandon Lindquist 8 … Team: 30-58 FG (2-13 3FG), 6-8 FT, 30 rebounds, 18 fouls
Elk River – Tucker Morrell 11, Ryan Ness 11 (9 ast, 8 reb), Porter Morrell 8 (4 reb), Clay Elrod 17, Terry Hadden 2, Landon Werner 5, Coleman Hayes 5 (6 reb, 4 ast), Bryan Edwards 9 … Team: 22-49 FG (6-20 3FG), 17-20 FT, 29 rebounds, 11 fouls