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Ellsworth's Drew Hipple shoots over Prescott's Jake Olson during Friday's Hwy. 10 rivalry game in Ellsworth.

Prescott routes Panthers 64-40

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Prescott routes Panthers 64-40
Red Wing Minnesota 2760 North Service Drive / P.O. Box 15 55066

ELLSWORTH -- The Ellsworth High School boys basketball team missed all kinds of baskets Friday night against Pierce County rival Prescott.

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Easy shots, off-balanced shots, three-pointers, mid-range jumpers, shots right under the basket, layups, you name it and the Panthers missed it.

Ellsworth head coach Cory Brathol attributed the poor shooting partly to plain bad luck; many went in and out or bounced off the rim.

But he also attributed poor defense to why the Panthers struggled to score. Ellsworth gave up 24 points in the first quarter.

"I think bad defense can leech into the way you play offense," Brathol said. "If you don't have that 100 percent focus on defense, you're not going to have it on offense either and without that concentration even the easiest of shots don't go in."

The Cardinals used a smaller and quicker line-up to counter Ellsworth's up-tempo style of play. By making five three-pointers in the first half, Prescott created avenues for its guards and wing players to drive to the basket.

"I think what surprised us was the way they were hitting from the outside," Brathol said.

"When you have to account for their outside shooters, then that opens up things inside. and they're a team that likes to go to the hoop and score; they did that well tonight."

Meanwhile, Ellsworth only got worse. After scoring 16 points in the first quarter, they were held to just 10 points in quarters 2 and 3 and a measly four points in the final eight minutes.

The Panthers made only two field goals in the second and fourth quarters and were outscored 17-10 and 13-4 respectively. Only a 13-for-15 margin from the free-throw line staved off a worse debacle.

Caleb Peterson led Ellsworth with 15 points. He sank 6 of 7 free throws. Nick Niedfeldt finished with eight points.

Prescott was led by Zach Charette's 23 points.

Prescott improves to 4-10 overall, 3-5 in the Middle Border Conference. Ellsworth drops to 5-8 overall and 2-5 in the league.

The Panthers are off until Thursday when they travel to Baldwin-Woodville.

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