The Elcho Hornets girls basketball team dropped its fourth straight Northern Lakes Conference contest Friday night, falling to the Florence Bobcats on the road, 64-39.
It also marked the Lady Hornets’ fourth loss in five outings since a 2-0 start to the season.
Friday, it was early foul trouble that helped Elcho dig a hole, trailing 40-23 at the halftime break.
“We struggled early with fouls,” co-head coach Lindsay Joerns explained. “It put our upperclassmen on the bench in the first half.”
Elcho still managed to find some room to work in the paint, with Ellie Asbach going for a team-high 13 points on the night, many coming from inside. Lily Reinke was also clutch, hitting double digits in scoring with 10.
“Reinke has been pushing the pace and getting the ball into the post nicely,” Joerns said.
Lexi Ernst ended the contest with five points, while Emily Moore and Erica Manka had four each. Emma Reynolds contributed two on a nice jump shot and Amanacer Houle added a free throw.
Following intermission, the Hornets made several adjustments on defense and held Florence to 24 points. Unfortunately Elcho managed only 16, as the Bobcats were able to increase the lead.
Those defensive changes helped Asbach step in front of a number of Florence passes, forcing turnovers.
Unfortunately for the Hornets, Manka went down with a knee injury in the second half, with Emily Moore and Sabrina Hatfield-Franske coming in off the bench to help defensively.
“Moore always is aggressive on defense and takes the open shot on the offensive end as well,” Joerns said. “This being her second season ever playing basketball, coach Pence and I are proud of her drive and commitment to the team, she enjoys it and has fun playing.”
The Elcho coaches also used Houle off the bench, noting her speed.
“We knew the girls needed to step up the intensity for the rest of the game and push through,” Joerns added. “Coach Pence and I commended the girls on their effort and they did not quit.”
The Hornets had a tough time slowing down Florence’s one-two punch of Isabella Millan and Lacey Enders. Millan scored a game-high 29 points, including going 12-for-14 from the free throw line. Enders added 23 and was also effective at getting to the line. She converted nine-of-13 free throw attempts.
Elcho fell to 3-4 overall, 1-4 in the Northern Lakes. Florence is now 4-7, 2-2 in conference play.
Following a scheduled non-conference game with Bowler Tuesday, the Elcho girls will host Florence in a rematch Thursday.
Florence 64, Elcho 39
Florence High School
Friday, Jan. 8, 2021
Elcho 23 16— 39
Florence 40 24— 64
Elcho- Ellie Asbach 13, Lilly Reinke 10, Lexi Ernst 5, Emily Moore 4, Erica Manka 4, Emma Reynolds 2, Amanacer Houle 1
Florence- Isabella Millan 29, Lacey Enders 23, Leah Young 4, Vicki Peterson 4, Paige Uren 2, Abigail Price 2
Laona-Wabeno- 4-2, 2-1 Northern Lakes
Elcho- 2-1, 0-1 Northern Lakes