Basketball: First-place Centenniel fends off Elk girls 64-48

The Elk River girls made a good showing against No. 6 ranked Centennial before succumbing 64-48 Friday night on the Cougars court.

“The girls played really, really well, and they just ran out of gas,” said coach Reed Caouette. “Centennial is very good. They are so athletic and fast.”

The Elks trailed 28-23 at the half, surged to a  34-30 lead early in the second half, and stuck with the the Cougars until the last few minutes.

“They really cranked up the pressure at the end when they could see we were getting tired,” said Caouette.

Centennial (10-1 conference, 14-2 overall) is the only team that’s beaten two-time defending state champion Hopkins, 79-70 on Jan. 8, although they lost their next game to Osseo 67-47.

Jordyn Sohns scored 13 points, Abi Scheid 10, Shelby Gracik and Jayme Langbehn nine each, and Anna Rollag seven for the Elks (6-5 conference, 10-6 overall).

The Cougars put considerable pressure on Gracik, who’s had several games around 20 points.

The Elks were 9-for-17 on free shots, with Langbehn 7-for-10, and hit three 3-pointers. Centennial was 9-for-13 at the line and made five 3-pointers.

The Elks were playing shorthanded with top sub Amy Cornelius sidelined with a concussion and starter Molli Detloff limited by a bad cold and inner ear infection.

Centennial’s very balanced scoring was led by center Jill Conrad and guard Daizjah Morris with 12 points each.

The Elks have pushed Centennial twice this year. They had an eight-point lead in the second half before falling 71-66 at home Nov. 30.

Second-place Osseo is the next foe for the Elks, at home Tuesday.