The Sacred Heart boys’ basketball team put Friday night’s disappointment behind them, after the Knights saw their bid for a second-straight state championship come to an end at the hands of Central Plains.
Sacred Heart knocked of No. 2-seed Howard-West Elk in the 2A boys’ third-place game, 53-44 on Saturday.
Sacred Heart appeared to have no ill effects from their semifinal loss in the first quarter, as the Knights raced out to a 10-3 early lead, led by junior, Trace Leners.
West Elk, who had several seniors of their own, would tighten the game up by the end of the period by trailing by just one, 12-11.
Sacred Heart would go ice-cold in the second quarter. The Knights missed several shots within 10 feet. The Patriots would capitalize and actually take the lead at two different times during the quarter. However, freshman Josh Jordan came off of the bench and rallied the Knights to take a 20-17 in to the locker room at halftime.
After a back-and-forth third quarter, Sacred Heart began to pull away late in the quarter. Led by back-to-back 3-pointers by Caleb Jordan, the Knights would have their largest lead of the game, 38-30 at the end of the fourth.
West Elk continued to fight as Karsten Walker made some big shots to keep the Patriots in striking distance. However, in the fourth quarter, Charlie Skidmore and Blake Palen would be money from the FT line and keep the Patriots at arm’s-length.
Led by made FTs and good defense, Sacred Heart got their third-straight top-three finish in 2A state with the win.
West Elk (22-3) shot under 30% from the floor in the game. The Patriots had two scorers in double-figures with Walker scoring 15 points and Cade Miller added in 10.
Sacred Heart (22-4) hoisted the third-place trophy when it was all said and done. The Knights were led by three in double-figures with Palen scoring a career-high 11 points in his final game, while Skidmore and Leners both added in 10 points.
Saturday was a great send-off for five Knights senior players who played their final game in blue and gold. The players include: Cooper Turpin, Cole Elmore, Grant Herrenbruck, Palen and C. Jordan.
During the senior’s time at Sacred Heart, the Knights went an incredible 92-8 during that time-frame and went to three-straight 2A state tournament appearances.