The Sacred Heart girls basketball team remained hot on Friday night beating Ellsworth 47-35.
Playing on their home court, but an hour early due to the incoming snow storm, the Knights got out to a slow start trailing 12-10 at the end of the first quarter. Ellsworth came out hot behind the stellar play of both Lakyn Tenbrink and Jaide Talbott who both carried the Lady Bearcats all night.
Sacred Heart would outscore Ellsworth in the second quarter but the game was tied at halftime at 22-22. The Knights would then finally hold the lead for most of the third quarter, leading 34-31 going in to the final stanza.
Much like their game Tuesday at Republic County, the Knights would break the game open using solid defense and clutch shots. The Knights led 36-31 midway through the 4th when Amber Palen hit a corner 3-pointer to give Sacred Heart their largest lead on the game.
Ellsworth continued to push behind Tenbrink, but the Knights’ defense began to successfully take Talbott out of the game. Much like their previous league games, Sacred Heart would clinch the game from the foul line to win their fifth game in their last six.
Ellsworth (2-7, 2-3 NCAA) only had two players produce for their team. Talbott led the way with 16 points for the Bearcats, while Tenbrink added in 11.
Sacred Heart (8-3, 4-1 NCAA) is off to their best start since the 2008-2009 season, when the Knights made the 2A State Tournament. Sacred Heart saw Ally Cochran score 18 points.
Sacred Heart is off next week.
SACRED HEART BOYS 64, Ellsworth 48
The Sacred Heart boys team withstood a furious Ellsworth rally at the beginning of the 4th quarter to win their ninth in-a-row.
Sacred Heart led 17-11 after one and 34-20 at halftime. The Knights opened up a 50-26 at the beginning of the third quarter when foul troubles began to mount. Both Knights’ bigs, Ethan Buckner and Luis Mendez picked up four fouls and had to spend the rest of the period on the bench.
Ellsworth would follow that with a 13-1 run in to the 4th quarter. Once again, Sacred Heart would use its defense to seperate itself as Trace Leners would have seven more steals on the night to create some offense for Sacred Heart and allowing the Knights to finally pull away in the final quarter.
Ellsworth (1-8, 1-4 NCAA) played tough all night. Unfortunately for the Bearcats, their best player, Bransen Schulte, fought foul trouble all night. Avery Haxton scored the most Bearcat points with 16. Bransen Schulte finished with 14–nine of which came in the first quarter.
Sacred Heart (9-2, 5-0 NCAA) withstood another game that saw their offense go cold for an extended period of time. Ethan Buckner led the Knights in scoring with 16 points–though, he fouled out. Leners, Charlie Skidmore and Tate Herrenbruck added in 11 points, each.
Sacred Heart is not in a mid-season tournament, so both teams have next week off. The Knights return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at Beloit.