The Elk River Elks overcame a hot start and late rally by Blaine to stay unbeaten with a 62-59 conquest of the Bengals at home Tuesday evening.
Senior forward Clay Elrod sank 20 points and junior guard Mitchell Weege 14 as the Elks improved to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the NWSC.
Blaine (1-3 conference, 2-4 overall) set a furious pace early and led by nine, and were still up by 32-19 at the half. The Elks pulled ahead early in the second half and led 56-48 with 3:30 left.
Down the stretch, Blaine crept within 58-56 with 1:05 left. The Elks worked it down to 30 seconds and Elrod scored inside off a nice feed from Devell Miller. Blaine’s Jason Travis sank a long 3-pointer to make it 60-59 with 22 seconds left.
The Elks, pressured hard by Blaine, almost committed a 10-second violation, but called a time-out just in time. With 10 seconds left, Blaine sent Weege to the line, and he sank two free shots. The Elks were 11-for-16 at the line.
Needing a three-pointer, Travis missed an off-balance attempt as time ran out.
Miller, junior forward, added eight points for the Elks. Three sophomores combined for 15 points — Trent Pink with six, Matt Keller five and Lucas Trapp four. Pink hit two free shots, then a layup off a feed from Elrod, to open a 50-43 lead.
Travis, lanky 6-foot-5 wing, sniped for 22 points for Blaine, dropping in five 3-pointers, all from about four feet outside the arc. Fedhii Gobena added 15 points, including four 3-pointers, and Kyle Cappard slashed to the hoop for 14 points.
Elk River will play at Andover on Thursday.
Elk scoring — Matt Keller 5, Zach Ernst 3, Jarin Haywood 2, Clay Elrod 20, Trent Pink 6, Mitchell Weege 14, Devell Miller 8, Lucas Trapp 4