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Boys' basketball: Ellsworth heads to the top of the MBC standings

The Ellsworth Panthers boys' basketball team is now 5-0 in Middle Border Conference play after notching a 60-56 win over the St. Croix Central Panthers on Thursday, Jan. 10. File hoto courtesy of Jon Claesson

The Ellsworth Panthers notched their fifth Middle Border Conference win on Thursday, Jan. 10, when they traveled to St. Croix Central High School and came way with yet another close win.

Two of Ellsworth's three losses on the season came in the team's first two games of the season and were decided by three points or less. Since Dec. 14, Ellsworth has claimed all of its games that have been decided by four points or less.

SCC was able to mount a 71-70 win against the Prescott Cardinals earlier in the week, but their late-game heroics fell short in their 60-56 loss to Ellsworth who was led by senior co-captain who finished with 29 points, 13 of which came from his 14 free-throw attempts.

The blue Panthers were able to cut Ellsworth's lead to two with 90 seconds remaining on the clock, but their guests once again showed their ability to make in-game adjustments and execute head coach Jordan Peterson's after timeout plays to a T by hitting a game-clinching 3-pointer.

Ellsworth committed 13 turnovers on the night, but the team's defense showed up once again as it forced 21 turnovers from its hosts.

Ellsworth is now 5-0 in MBC play, which places them at the top of the conference standings alongside New Richmond (6-3, 5-0). The two MBC leaders will face off on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the Tigers' home court. Ellsworth will host the Spring Valley Cardinals (7-4) on Monday, Jan. 14.

Scoring for Ellsworth: Benson 29, Cole Woodland 15, Erik Lange 7, Mason Anderson 6, Shane Lange 2, Ivan Mendez 1.