Basketball: Elk River boys fend off Blaine 62-59

Elk River's Trent Pink was fouled while shooting, by Blaine's Nikolas Keller, and sank both free shots. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Elk River’s Trent Pink was fouled while shooting, by Blaine’s Nikolas Keller, and sank both free shots. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

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.

Elk River's Mitchell Weege dribbles away as a Blaine defender loses his balance. Weege sank a jump shot on the play and totaled 14 points. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Elk River’s Mitchell Weege dribbles away as a Blaine defender loses his balance. Weege sank a jump shot on the play and totaled 14 points. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

 

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

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