Basketball: Elk boys stymie Anoka 63-38 for 4-0 start

Terry Hadden came up with the ball after a scramble on the defensive end. He’s right above Bryan Edwards, with Max Person in the background. No. 3 is Travis Bengtson. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

With a 63-38 conquest Anoka at home Friday evening, the Elk River basketball team continues to smother opponents defensively while staying unbeaten at 4-0.

Junior forward Clay Elrod scored 20 points, 17 of them in the first half, with senior guard Porter Morrell adding 15 points, and senior post Bryan Edwards contributing 13 points, 10  rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Bryan Edwards twisted on the baseline to launch a shot. He notched 13 points and 10 rebounds. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

The Elks’ withering man-to-man pressure held the Tornadoes (2-3) to 10 field goals in 36 attempts. In four games, the Elks are allowing just 41.0 points per game.

“The kids have decided that defense is important to them,” said coach Randy Klasen. “The set team goal to hold everyone under 50 points. We’ve got to work really hard to do that, especially in our conference, where we have some teams who can score.”

The four teams the Elks have beaten so far have a combined record of 6-13. The schedule will get much tougher soon enough.

“Our conference could be the strongest it has ever been,” Klasen observed.

Osseo is the defending state champ with a lot back, and Park Center beat them Tuesday. Champlin Park, Centennial and Maple Grove not far behind those two, said the coach.

Against Anoka, the Elks shot a mediocre 45 percent at 21-for-46 from the field while rebounding the Tornadoes  37-26 and sinking 14 of 18 free shots.

Leading Anoka with nine points each were Torry Ledin and J.P. Grow.
The Elks, 2-0 in conference, will play at Blaine on Tuesday.

Elk River 63, Anoka 38

Elk River — Porter Morrell 15 (4 ast), Clay Elrod 20 (6 reb), Terry Hadden 4,  Mitchell Weege 5 (3 ast, 3 reb), Max Person 0 (4 ast), Isaac Howard 0 (6 reb), Bryan Edwards 13 (10 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl)

Porteer Morrell, Terry Hadden and Clay Elrod relaxed in the final minute, watching the reserves finish the victory. (Photo by Bruce Strand)