ELLSWORTH — Any team that holds Sacred Heart's Caleb Jordan and Charlie Skidmore to a combined 13 points _ less than half their season average — will probably like its chances this season.

Ellsworth did just that on Friday night and was hanging right with the Knights early into the fourth quarter. But Sacred Heart proved it has other weapons to turn to, putting together a late run to pull away for a 62-47 victory at the Ellsworth High School gym.


Senior Cole Elmore had a career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Grant Herrenbruck and Trace Leners added 10 points each to help the Knights improve to 8-3 overall, 5-0 in the North Central Activities Association.

"In practices we've been working a lot on getting the ball inside to Grant and I," Elmore said. "Everyone has an on-night and everyone has an off-night. Tonight was my on-night.

"My teammates did a good job of seeing me and getting me the ball inside and thankfully I was able to get some points."

Ellsworth (5-4, 2-3) started the fourth quarter down 40-37, but tied it up on its first possession of the period on a 3-pointer from the right corner from Avery Haxton.

The Knights misfired on their next offensive trip, but then scored on 12 of their final 13 possessions in the game. After the Bearcats had pulled even, baskets inside from Herrenbruck (with an assist from Leners) and Elmore (with Herrenbruck getting the assist) started an 11-0 run.

That stretch included a driving lay-in for Jordan, another bucket inside for Elmore and a Jordan 3-pointer that made it 51-40.

"We got on that run and it was a big momentum swing," Elmore said. "Coach Malik (Jordan) always tells us we have to block out the white noise — the noise off the court so we can just listen to our teammates.

"That helped us a lot in that 11-point swing."

"We saw we had some mismatches and stressed feeding the post," Sacred Heart coach Pat Martin said. "They took away Caleb and Chuck, but Cole did a great job moving away from the ball and the others threw it to the open guy."

After stretching the lead to 11, Sacred Heart hit 9-of-12 free throws in the final 2:25 to close out its latest win. The Knights will be off all of next week while most schools participate in midseason tournaments.

Elmore not only had a career-high scoring night, but did it by making 10-of-11 shots from the field. Herrenbruck had six rebounds to go with his 10 points, while Leners had five rebounds and also drew two charging fouls on Ellsworth senior Remington Cravens.

Despite some foul trouble, Cravens still finished with 18 points to lead the Bearcats, while Jordan Base added 13.


Ellsworth girls 62, Sacred Heart 39

A huge first quarter proved to be the difference for Ellsworth, as the Sacred Heart girls played the Bearcats even for much of the final three quarters.

Ellsworth never trailed, jumping out to 5-0 and 16-2 leads in the opening quarter. The Knights had 10 first-quarter turnovers and only four shots from the field, while the Bearcats were knocking down three 3-pointers in building a 20-3 lead after the first eight minutes.

"We made a few early shots and got some confidence," Ellsworth coach Ken Cravens said. "But it was pretty much possession for possession after that.

"Coach Schmidtberger does a good job with his team and they're disciplined, but we were fortunate to get our hands on some loose balls and create some turnovers to get some easier offense."

Down by 17 to start the second quarter, the Knights (3-8, 2-3 NCAA) never could make a serious run. The lead fluctuated between 15 and 22 points for much of the remainder of the game, before Ellsworth went on a 7-0 run to close the fourth quarter.

Ellsworth sophomore Jaide Talbott had a strong game inside, making 10 of 16 shots and finishing with 23 points. Kolby Davis had 14 for the Bearcats, who improved to 7-2, 4-1.

Sacred Heart played without leading scorer Anna Ivey, who missed the game due to illness. Ally Cochran had nine points for the Knights, with Audrey Smith and Amber Palen adding eight each.