Two days after beating their opponent by 25 points, Elk River's 2019-20 season came to an end.

Elk River (20-8) lost to No. 7 Maple Grove (23-5) 70-54 on Feb. 29 at St. Cloud Tech High School, ending the Elks' goal of reaching the state tournament for the first time since winning the Class 4A crown in 2016-17.

The Elks were led offensively by junior forward Ellie Mass, who scored 13 points. Senior guard Lydia Haack scored 12 and senior forward Alexa Engebretson chipped in 10.

Offensive Player of the Game

Junior guard Izzy Brant led the Crimson with a season and career-high 20 points. 

Elks advance to section semifinal with win over Buffalo

The Elks made easy work of their opponents on Feb. 27.

Elk River (20-7) defeated Buffalo (8-19) 69-34 at Elk River High School in the Section 8-4A quarterfinal to advance to the section final for the second consecutive year and for the seventh time since the 2012-13 season. The Elks have missed the section semifinals only once in this eight-season period. That came in 2017-18 when the Elks lost to Maple Grove 41-33 on Feb. 27, 2018. 

Head coach Jeremy Digiovanni said Elk River played well on both sides of the court and didn't let their foots off the gas pedal when the team led 42-12 at halftime.

"[We] finished the easy buckets," Digiovanni said. "It was a good night for us. It's playoff time. They're fighting to keep their season going. We have to continue doing the things that we did in the first half: be solid on both ends of the floor. We did a good job with that."

The Elks pressured the Bison into difficult shots and didn't allow Buffalo to get in a rhythm offensively. The crowd roared after every Elk River basket, whether it was an easy layup or a 3-pointer.

The game was closer in the second half, as the Elks outscored the Bison 27-22, but the large first-half deficit was too much for Buffalo to overcome.

Junior forward Ellie Maass said Elk River kept the ball out of prime scoring areas.

"We know Buffalo likes to kick and drive, so taking away that [lane] prevents them from getting those 3-pointers. We came out, played like a team [and] did everything we needed to do to get a win tonight."

Offensive Player of the Game

Junior forward Johanna Langbehn led Elk River with 18 points, two shy of her season-high of 20, which she set on Jan. 21 in the Elks 54-36 win over Armstrong. 

What's next

Elk River's 2019-20 season is over.

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