In the La Salle's regular season final, the Lancers' cold shooting denied them victory at Elder. The Lancers [12-10] were swept by Elder [11-10], who won earlier at La Salle 49-47. In the Lancers' home lost Willard Cluxton was the problem. Cluxton had almost ½ of Elder's points, going 8/10 from the field.
At Elder, the Lancers were able to hold Cluxton in check with 12 points but were foiled by their own cold shooting. From about the one-minute mark in the 1st quarter, the Lancers went 10 ½ minutes with one field goal.
La Salle has now lost three games in a row and is looking to regroup for the tournament. Fortunately for them they will have 10 days to work out their problems before getting back on the hardwood against the winner of Milford/Harrison at Lakota West high school.
The Lancers started out strong against the Panthers, jumping out to a 9-3 lead on back-to-back baskets by Jeff Queen with 2:00 remaining in the 1st period. The score at quarter's end was La Salle 11, Elder 6.
In the second quarter the Lancers would only score one basket, allowing the Panthers to take a 17-14 lead at the half. The Lancers missed 7 shots in or near the paint.
Elder scored the first four points of the 3rd quarter to jump to a 21-14 lead. That would be Elder's largest lead until the final score of 42-35. Even though the Lancers were shooting poorly, their defense kept them in the game. With 1:55 remaining in the 3rd frame the Lancers tied the score at 23 on a Nathan Vogelpohl basket. The quarter ended with La Salle down three at 26-23.
With 4:30 to go in the game, Jay Lemons scored on a drive and spin to cut the lead to 31-29. After Matt Luebbe missed a 1-and-1 with less than 2 minutes remaining, La Salle had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead. Unfortunately, they turned the ball over.
Elder's Luke Kandra was fouled and made the 1-and-1 to put the Panthers up 4 but Derek Eddings answered immediately with a 3-pointer, making it Elder 36, La Salle 35. On the next possession Luke Kandra got open near the basket and scored. La Salle missed a 3-pointer and was forced to foul. The game ended Elder 42, La Salle 35.
The difference in the game was found at the free throw line. Elder attempted 25 free throws and made 15. La Salle shot only 5 from the charity stripe and made 2. La Salle shot 30% from the field; Elder shot 29%. Needless to say there were a lot of rebounds. Elder grabbed 41 and La Salle snared 39.
Nathan Vogelpohl scored 10 points and Michael Wergers led La Salle in rebounds with 8.