Basketball: Armstrong overtakes Elk boys 81-78 in double OT

Elk guard Terry Hadden  got Armstrong's Nick O'Hara in the air with a fake. Hadden went up and scored and drew a foul, although he missed the free shot. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Elk guard Terry Hadden got Armstrong’s Nick O’Hara in the air with a fake. Hadden went up and scored and drew a foul, although he missed the free shot. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

 

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Armstrong sank five consecutive three-pointers to take the lead and pulled off an 81-78, double-overtime upset of Elk River on Tuesday evening in Elk River.

Point guard Porter Morrell drilled a career-high 30 points and forward Clay Elrod added 25 for Elk River (5-3 conference, 9-3 overall).

Elk guard Porter Morrell launched a 3-pointer that tied the game late in regulation, on the way to 30 points. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Elk guard Porter Morrell launched a 3-pointer that tied the game late in regulation, on the way to 30 points. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

The Elks had an early 17-4 lead and still led 44-35 with eight minutes  left, but couldn’t hold on.

Two senior forwards heated up late to lead Armstrong (4-4 conference, 8-4 overall).

Mitchell Biewen hit six 3-pointers and totaled 21 points, and Konner Goettche nailed four 3-pointers and on the way to 19 points. Those two combined for the streak of five in a row that gave the Falcons the lead three times in the last three minutes.

Morrell twice regained a tie for the Elks with 3-pointers, at 62-62 and 65-65. Armstrong had the ball the last minute of regulation but the Elks were all over them and they couldn’t get a good shot off.

In the first OT, Morrell posted up for a field goal, Armstrong finally missed a trey, and Elrod buried a 3-pointer to give the Elks a 70-65 lead. But Armstrong caught up at 70 on another triple by Goettsche.

The Elks had the ball the last 45 seconds but this time it was Armstrong’s defense smothering the Elks. Morrell was tightly-guarded when he tried a jumper at the horn and it was blocked.

Armstrong had a 78-76 lead and the ball in the second OT when the Elks forced a turnover and Terry Hadden tried to drive for a layup. The attempt was rebuffed by Armstrong, which then flung the ball downcourt to the 6-foot-5 Goettsche for an easy two, making it 80-76.

Morrell slashed for a layup with 20 seconds left. The Elks put JJ Morris at the line and he made one of two. Needing three, the Elks had a couple chances but Elrod and Morrell both missed in the last eight seconds.

Mitchell Weege  drove past a Falcon defender to score on a runner along the baseline. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Mitchell Weege drove past a Falcon defender to score on a runner along the baseline. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Morrell notched three 3-pointers and made 5-of-6 at the line. Elrod had a pair of three’s and was 3-for-4 at the line.

The Elks dropped to 5-3 in conference and 9-3 overall. Armstrong is 4-4 and 8-4.

Bryan Edwards added eight points and Hadden seven for the Elks. Nick O’Hara had eight and Morris seven for the Falcons.

Elk River will host Centennial on Friday.

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