The varsity basketball team came into tonight’s game against the visiting Wayne Warriors knowing they needed a win to secure a second place finish in the NL East. Knowing a loss would cause them to share second place with Wayne and halt the momentum they have been building heading down the stretch toward tournament play, the boys came out focused and ready to play.
The Wayne game traditionally draws a large, raucous crowd and tonight was no different. Prior to the game, the senior basketball players and cheerleaders along with the senior Coeds were recognized and the crowd showed them their appreciation for their four years of dedication and service to the program.
Once the game started, the Elks jumped on the Warriors quick and bolted to a 6-point lead. However, Wayne got things back under control and took a 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Elks once again started quickly and built an 8-point lead, only to see Wayne rally once again. After sixteen minutes of play, the Elks went to the locker room with a one-point lead, 24-23. In the third quarter, the Elks expanded their lead to four, 37-33, as the game headed to the fourth and final quarter. Just like the first two quarters, the Elks stormed out of the gates in the fourth quarter and jumped out to a 10-point lead. However, Wayne got hot from three-point range and tied the score before senior Sam Lash buried a huge corner three to give the Elks the lead back for good. The Warriors refused to quit once again and not until Isaiah Trice’s three pointer clanged off the rim as time expired could the Elks exhale with a huge, 56-53 win.
The Elks were led in scoring tonight by senior Keegan Saben who had a dazzling 27. Junior Jevon Henderson was the Elks other double figure scorer with 10.
In the first game of the night, the JV team built a big lead, watched Wayne come all the way back to tie the game in the closing seconds, then outscored the Warriors 10-0 in overtime to win, 59-49.
Now 14-8 on the year, the Elks turn their attention to the 2017 OHSAA tournament. They will open up next Friday night at Butler High School against Piqua. Opening tip-off is set for 8:00 PM.