ELC downs Pocahontas Area in regular season finale
POCAHONTAS — Will Larson scored 17 points, grabbed seven rebounds, had three assists and three blocked shots in a 72-69 victory over Pocahontas Area on Thursday. In the regular season finale for both teams, ELC’s Adrian Vaughn chipped in 13 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Pocahontas Area (6-14 overall) was not an easy matchup for ELC. The two teams were tied 20-20 after one quarter with the host Indians leading 42-38 at halftime.
“We battled through a lot of things that weren’t going our way the first half,” said ELC coach Nick Gruhlke. “We got down 12-4 I think it was. Owen (Larson), Ryan (Schiltz) and Octavious (Piercy-Maze) all had two fouls in the first quarter and sat the whole second quarter. Our guys off the bench were great during second quarter. Jack Jensen, Kevin Egeland, Tristan Howard and Blake Ingvall gave us some very important minutes. I was very pleased with our effort and ability to finish the game on top.”
ELC tied the game at 55-55 to start the fourth quarter and went on to win the final frame 17-14.
Owen Larson and Ryan Schiltz each finished with nine points. Blake Ingvall had seve points, Matt Christensen and Jack Jensen each had six points, Kevin Egeland had four, and Tristan Howard had one. Christensen led ELC’s rebounding effort with eight boards.
ELC wraps up a 9-12 season. The Midgets have a week off before facing Spencer in a Class 3A first-round matchup against Lakes Conference rival Spencer on Monday, Jan. 22.
“We are looking forward to a rematch with Spencer,” said Gruhlke. “They are a very good team and deserve to be higher than a 4 seed. But you’ve got to beat the best teams to move on this time of the year, so we are up for the challenge.”
The Tigers swept the regular season games against ELC, winning 68-51 on Jan. 16 and 52-28 last Tuesday in Spencer.
“We obviously didn’t shoot the ball well Tuesday when we played them, but we got the ball to the right spots vs their zone, shots just didn’t fall,” said Gruhlke. “I thought we defended well and took care of the ball versus their pressure. We’ll have a good week of practice leading up to the game and are excited to get back on the court versus Spencer on the 22nd.”
The ELC Junior Varsity boys wrapped up a 17-4 season with a 54-30 win over Pocahontas Area on Thursday.
Tristan Howard led ELC with 13 points, Blake Ingvall and Jack Jensen each had nine points, Daryl Jensen had six, Grant Love and Blake Evans each had four, Zack Koenck and Brenden Finley each had three, and Logan Nissen had two points.