by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
A couple of breakdowns by Elk River in the last minute of the first half signaled trouble for the Elks in the second half Friday night, as they lost a conference game to Andover 82-79 at home.
The Elks led most of the game, but could not hold off the Huskies, who made about a dozen breakaway layups, mostly after ball steals, and drilled eight 3-point shots. Andover was averaging just 49 points coming into the game.
The Elks suffered 25 turnovers, a big factor in the outcome that left both teams 1-2 in the NWSC and 2-2 overall. Andover made 17 steals.
The Elks led 43-34 with 45 seconds left in the half and had the ball, with coach Reed Caouette shouting for them to hold on for one shot. Instead, the Elks went inside and had a shot blocked and gave up a layup, then had the ball stolen off the dribble and gave up another layup at the buzzer.
Down by just 43-38 at the half, Andover was energized and continued to swipe the ball from the Elks through the second half, eventually passing them at the end. The Elks contributed to their turnover total with several off-target passes.
Still, the Elks had another big offensive game, led by sophomore center Abi Scheid with 24 points and senior guard Shelby Gracik with 14. Freshman guard Gabi Haack added 10 points, freshman guard Ava Kramer 10 and sophomore forward Jayme Langbehn eight.
The Elks are averaging 78 points, but have lost 81-74 (to Anoka) and 82-79.
For Andover, senior guard Madison Hahn pumped in 21 points, senior guard Hadyn Becker 17, and senior center Amelia Legor 16.
The Elks made 20 of 29 free throws, with Kramer 8-for-10 and Gracik 6-for-6. Andover made 18 of 24 at the line.
The Elks will play at Park Center (4-1) on Tuesday.
Elk River scoring — Abi Scheid 24, Shelby Gracik 14, Ava Kramer 16, Gabi Haack 10, Jayme Langbehn 8, Anna Rollag 7, Sidney Wentland 4, Erin Ness 2