The varsity boys basketball team traveled to Springfield High School last night to take on the Wildcats in a huge, American Division showdown. The two DI powers knew they had to keep winning to keep pace with Wayne so Saturday night’s game was huge for both teams.
In the first quarter, the Elks scored first to take the lead. The Wildcats broke a 6-6 tie with a quick, 7-0 run to take a 13-6 lead before the Elks settled down and scored the final five points of the first quarter to pull within two, 13-11, after eight minutes. In the second quarter, the host Wildcats tried to make a run and stretched their lead to as many as eight. As they did in the first quarter, the Elks responded and were aided by Springfield’s foul trouble. The boys closed the quarter on a 13-3 run to take a two-point lead, 26-2, to the locker room at halftime. In the third quarter, the Elks started with an 8-2 run which forced the Wildcats to call a timeout trailing, 34-26. The Elks extended the lead to ten before the Wildcats hit a three to cut the lead to seven, 36-29, heading into the fourth quarter. The Wildcats scored first in the fourth quarter to close the gap to five, but the Elks would not let them get any closer as freshman Gabe Cupps buried a couple of clutch three pointers and also earned two three-point plays under the basket the old fashioned way on his way to a game high 22 points. He was joined in double figures by senior Mo Njie who had 14 and dominated the game on both ends of the floor with his rebounding and shot blocking. The Elks defense put the clamps on Springfield in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Wildcats, 16-7, to post an impressive, 52-36, victory on the road.
In the opening game of the night, the freshman black team defeated the Wildcats, 49-37. That was followed by the JV game which was won by Springfield on a long, three point shot with .9 seconds left, 61-58. Earlier in the day, the freshman gold team traveled to Oak Hills High School and handed the Highlanders a 46-31 defeat.
Now 6-7 overall and 5-1 in GWOC play, the Elks sit alone atop the division standings. They return to action on Friday night when they travel to Springboro High School to take on the Panthers. The freshman black team plays at 4:30, the JV at 6:00 and the varsity at 7:30.