Basketball: Elk girls can’t hold big lead, lose to Pirates 61-60
by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River had a 14-point lead with eight minutes left but Park Center overtook the Elks 61-60 on Friday evening at ERHS.
Senior center Victoria Jenson scored 23 points in the Elks’ upset bid. Park Center got 26 from speedy 5-10 soph Cayla McMorris, a potential Miss Basketball candidate.
The last-place Elks, going for their third straight win, had a 57-43 lead with a freewheeling, aggressive style, passing and cutting alertly and shooting with confidence, probably their best performance of the year up to that point, against a team ranked No. 7 in Class 3A.
However, Park Center made two 3-pointers and blocked two Elks shots at the other end, starting their comeback. They used their superior speed to force mistakes by the Elks, who lost their edge, looking tentative and jittery the rest of the way.
The Elks did not make a field goal in the last eight minutes and missed chances at the free throw line as Jenson was 3-for-6 and Anna Rollag missed with 24 seconds left with a 60-59 lead.
Park Center guard Kati Fern sank a little runner on a baseline drive to put the Pirates ahead 61-60 with 22 second left.
The Elks had two more possessions but missed a contested shot each time and dropped to 3-15 in conference and 7-17 overall.
Park Center is 11-6 and 14-9 including an earlier 52-44 win over the Elks.
Junior guard Jordyn Sohns scored 10 for the Elks and Rollag and Shelby Gracik eight each. Sohns helped the Elks take a 35-30 halftime lead with eight points, including two breakaways after steals.
Niocole Schaub scored 11 and Hannah Schaub 10 for Park Center.
The Elks will play at Andover on Tuesday.