After holding the lead for most of the first half, the Elks let it slip away against a Northwest Suburban Conference adversary.
Elk River (5-3, 1-0) fell to Maple Grove (6-2, 1-0) 47-44 in overtime on Tuesday. It was Elk River’s first home loss of the season and first since Feb. 22 when the Elks lost 50-45 to, coincidentally, the Crimson.
Head coach Jeremy Digiovanni said Elk River got too conservative with the ball in overtime.
“We ended up turning it over and they converted the points,” Digiovanni said. “It’s just a spot where we didn’t execute as well as we should have. We’ll learn from it and move on. Credit to Maple Grove. They continued to play and defend well and took us out of what we were trying to do. We couldn’t get enough going at times offensively to get us the big baskets when we needed to. We didn’t shoot particularly well. We knew going into the game that it was going to be a grind offensively because they are exceptionally good defensively. The fact that the score didn’t hit 50 in overtime with the two of us playing each other does not surprise me. We know each other so well and both teams rely on good defense.”
Neither team scored in the first 90 seconds of the game. Both teams either had shots hit the rim and not go in or miss the net entirely. Junior forward Johanna Langbehn broke the deadlock early in the first quarter, scoring the first 2 of 14 points on the evening. The Elks led 23-21 after the second half.
Up by two with less than a minute to go in the third, the Crimson tied the game to force overtime, outscoring Elk River 21-19 in the second half and tying the game 44-42.
Junior forward Lydia Haack earned a milestone when the game went to overtime. Haack’s 2-pointer to make it 44-42 early in overtime was her 1,000th career point. However, Maple Grove went on a 5-0 run, stealing a win from the Elks and ending Haack’s milestone night on a sour note.
Haack said Elk River couldn’t contain Crimson stars Kylie Baranick, Jordyn Lamker and Abby Schulte.
“Our on-the-ball defense needed to be a little better,” Haack said.
Offensive Player of the Game
Baranick and Lamker each had 17 points to anchor the Maple Grove offense. It was Baranick’s most productive game of the season offensively.
Elk River was scheduled to face Rogers (2-5, 0-1) on Friday in the annual River Battle. The Elks have won 8 of the last 10 meetings against the Royals since 2009. Elk River won last season’s game on Dec. 21, 2018 by a score of 73-60. Haack led the Elks offensively with 26 points.
Haack said Elk River has to focus on its defense in order to have success against Rogers.
“If we can keep them under 50 points, I think we’ll be able to be very successful,” Haack said. “We need to stay out of foul trouble so we have our big [players] in the game more.”