The Ell-Saline varsity boys’ basketball squad suffered its ninth setback of the season Friday afternoon, falling to Bennington 67-59 in the consolation bracket finals of the 45th Annual Canton-Galva Boys’ Basketball Tournament at Canton-Galva High School.
The Cardinals battled from behind for most of the afternoon. After Ell-Saline got out to a 7-4 lead in the game’s opening minutes, the Bulldogs went on a 17-0 run, helping to propel Bennington to a 23-11 lead after the first quarter.
After trailing 40-28 at halftime, Ell-Saline (3-9) battled back in the second half, outscoring Bennington (5-8) by six points in the third quarter to pull within six at 52-46 through three quarters of play. The Cardinals would trim the deficit to four points late in the fourth quarter, but 9-for-11 free throw shooting from the Bulldogs over the final eight minutes kept Ell-Saline at arm’s length, leading to the Bennington victory.
Ell-Saline received a fierce offensive performance from senior post Patrick Giersch, who finished with 19 points in the contest. Sophomore Treyton Peterson added 13 points, while junior Sawyer Kramer and sophomore T.J. Morrical chipped in nine points each in the losing effort.
Bennington was paced by junior Tyler Stanley and senior Kyle Shipley, who finished the afternoon with 19 and 18 points, respectively. Senior Will Oldham also hit double digits for the Bulldogs, adding ten points in the victory.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Ell-Saline 11 17 18 13 – 59
Bennington 23 17 12 15 – 67