DELL RAPIDS, S.D. - Elkton/Lake Benton survived a late push from Chester area to capture the District 7B title Friday night, winning 50-45. The Flyers cut the score to 43-40 with 4:30 to go in the game, but then their shooting game went cold and the Elks were able to hit enough free throws, despite going cold at the line themselves, in the final minute to salt away a victory.
Nathan Krog led the way for the Elks with 20 points to go with 16 from Heath Schindler, making up the bulk of the scoring for E/LB.
"It may have been an aberration that we missed those tonight," E/LB coach Steve Erickson said. "We had guys at the free throw line that were used to being there, they just didn't go in. Luckily, we were up by enough so I didn't have to sweat too bad."
Photo by David Merrill
Elkton/Lake Benton’s Walker Sik defends a Chester Area player during the championship game of the SDHSAA Class B District 7 Tournament on Friday in Dell Rapids, S.D.
Chester Area may have entered with a 9-13 record, but come this time of year records tend to become irrelevant as the survive and advance montra takes hold of all teams in bracket play.
For Erickson, his team coming out on top tonight came down to effort.
"The guys play together and they play so hard," Erickson said. "I couldn't ask these guys to play any harder for us than they do. I think that was the difference in the game. Chester is a good team. They are super young and are going to be really good in the next few years. Our kids just stuck with it and battled. They just don't quit."
Jesse Kreutzfeldt was the lone Flyer to reach double digits, scoring 17 points while Cole Acheson finished with seven points. The Flyers shot nine free throws compared to 27 for the Elks.
While the difference in free throws may look staggering, Chester Area coach Eric Knight had a different take on why his team came up a little short.
"They came out in their 1-3-1 zone to start the fourth quarter," King said. "We had talked about that in the timeout and at the end of the day, we missed a couple shots at the start of the fourth quarter and they converted on the offensive end. The fouls had nothing to do with it at all. They made free throws. That's what good teams do. The beginning of the fourth quarter was the difference in the game."
The Elks will now await the matchup for the regional championship game for their chance to go to the South Dakota State tournament.
SDHSAA CLASS B DISTRICT 7 TOURNAMENT
At Dell Rapids, S.D.
ELKTON/LAKE BENTON 50, CHESTER AREA 45
CHESTER AREA (9-13 OVERALL): Jacob Schoeberl 0 4-5 4, Josh Anderson 4 0-0 10, Cole Acheson 3 0-0 7, Austin Eppard 2 1-2 5, Haden Ewoldt 1 0-0 2, Jesse Kreutzfeldt 7 2-2 17. TOTALS: 17 7-9 (78%) 45.
ELKTON, S.D./LAKE BENTON (17-5 OVERALL): Heath Schindler 4 7-8 16, Trevan Farnham 1 1-2 4, Walker Sik 0 3-4 3, Quinn Fargen 2 0-2 4, Nathan Krog 9 2-7 20, Tyler Stuefen 0 3-4 3. TOTALS: 16 16--27 (59%) 50.
HALFTIME: Elkton/Lake Benton 28, Chester Area 22. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Chester Area 4 (J. Anderson 2, Acheson, Kreutzfeldt); Elkton/Lake Benton 2 (Farnham, Schindler). REBOUNDS: Chester Area 26 (J. Anderson 5); Elkton/Lake Benton 27 (Fargen 11). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Chester Area 22 (none); Elkton/Lake Benton 11 (none). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: Chester Area (Jordan 4); Elkton/Lake Benton 11 (Schindler 5). STEALS: Chester Area 1 (Schoeberl); Elkton/Lake Benton 13 (Schindler 5). BLOCKED SHOTS: Chester Area (not reported); Elkton/Lake Benton (not reported). TURNOVERS: Chester Area 9; Elkton/Lake Benton 5.