Elkhart Tops Normangee

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

ELKHART – The first round of the Elkhart Holiday Tournament tipped off on Thursday, Nov. 29 with a full slate of games. Early games on Thursday saw the Elkhart Lady Elks defeat the Wells Lady Pirates by a score of 35-31, while the Slocum Lady Mustangs defeated the Cayuga Lady Wildcats 49-27.

In the boys’ bracket, the Eustace Bulldogs defeated the Cross Roads Bobcats by a score of 58-52 and the Cayuga Wildcats defeated the Wells Pirates by a score of 50-48.

In the final game of the day, the Elkhart Elks took on the Normangee Panthers and for most of the game it looked as if the Elks might fall on their home court. A strong fourth quarter, however, propelled the Elks to 59-54 win.

The first quarter of the game saw the Elks get off to a slow start as they only scored six points on twos from RJ Moore, Cade Starr and Ky Thomas.

Normangee, on the other hand, was clicking on all cylinders as they opened up a 13-point lead and took a 19-6 score into the second quarter.  Luke Yellot led the way as he connected on three, three-pointers. Blain MacKenzie also drained a three while Ty Aguirre, Ced Brice and Izaha Jones all had two.

The Elks regrouped between quarters and came out firing as they whittled the lead down to four by the time the halftime buzzer sounded. Messiah Birdow dropped in six while Moore, Starr and David McMorris all had four. Thomas chipped in one to close out the first half Elkhart scoring.

The Panthers were paced in the second quarter by Cobey Powell with five. Yellot had three and Jones had two as the Panthers led 29-25 at the break.

As the second half got underway, the two teams slowed the tempo down and played to a standstill. Moore scored seven for Elkhart while Starr added three. Birdow and Thomas both dropped in two as the Elks only trailed by three after three.

Jones led the Panthers with six while Yellot had five and Powell had two as Normangee clung to a 42-39 lead with eight minutes left to play.

By the time fourth quarter started, the Panthers found themselves in foul trouble. As a result, the Elks lived at the line for most of the final period and hit nine of 17 from the charity stripe. Thomas got untracked for the Elks as he dropped in 11. Birdow scored three while Moore, Starr and Landry Mays all had two to help the Elks come from behind and capture the 59-54 victory.

On the game, the Panthers were led by: Luke Yellot with 20 points; Izaha Jones with 11; Cobey Powell with seven; Brandon Brooks with four; both Brady Harris and Blain MacKenzie with three; and Ty Aguirre with two.

The Elks were led by Ky Thomas with 16 and RJ Moore with 15 points. Both Messiah Birdow and Cade Starr dropped in 11. David McMorris added four and Landry Mays chipped in two.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.