by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River’s bid to open conference with a rare win over Centennial was unraveled mainly by a flood of turnovers as the Cougars rallied to beat the Elks 71-66 in Elk River on Friday evening.
Elk freshman center Abi Scheid scored 24 points, 19 of them in the first half, with the Elks up 33-27 at the break. Senior guard Jordyn Sohns added 17 points and soph guard Anna Rollag 10.
The Elks still led by eight at 57-49 but made too many mistakes to hang on.
Along with numerous turnovers on bad passes, traveling, charges, and steals by the Cougars, another difference in the game was outside shooting. The Cougars nailed 10 three-pointers and the Elks had just three. Centennial was 8-for-15 outside the arc in the second half.
The Cougars had balanced scoring led by post players Jill Conrad with 12 and Paige Waytashek with 11, and guards Katie Werth with 10 and Daizhaj Morris with nine.
Free throws were a big factor in the last 90 seconds as the Cougars were 6-for-8 and the Elks 1-for-5. Overall, though, it was pretty even at the line, Centennial 19-for-31 and the Elks 18-for-31.
The game was a foul-fest from start to finish, 28 by the Elks with four players fouling out, and 25 on Centennial with two players exiting.
Scheid made nine field goals, showing very impressive body control for a 6-foot-2 freshman, along with 5-of-7 free shots. Her three-point play off a rebound of a missed three by Sohns gave the Elks their last lead at 64-61.
Sohns was 7-for-10 at the line.
The Elks made no perimeter shots other than two 3-pointers by Rollag and one by Amy Cornelius, all in the second half. The Elks also missed several layups with Centennial usually contesting them at the hoop.
Centennial, ranked No. 9, one of the NWSC powers every year, was opening its season. The Elks (3-1) had won three non-conference games.
It won’t get any easier on Tuesday when the Elks play at No. 4 Osseo.
Centennial 71, Elks 66
Centennial …….. 27 44 — 71
Elk River …………33 33 — 66
Elk River — Erin Ness 2 , Jordyn Sohns 17, Jayne Langbehn 3, Anna Rollag 10, Shelby Gracik 1, Molly Detloff 6, Abi Scheid 23, Brittany Cornelius 23 …. Team: 23 FG (2 3FG), 18-31 FT, 28 fouls …. Fouled out: Langbehn, Rollag, Detloff
Centennial —Katiie Werth 10, Paige Waytashek 11, Hayley Hoffmann 4, Destinee Morris 3, Daizhaj Morris 9, Caitlin Ring 2, Jasmin Bretoi 9, Jaycie Gerding 5, Jill Conrad 12 …. Team: 21 FG (10 3FG), 19-31 FT, 26 fouls … Fouled out: De. Morris, Waytashek