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Somerset boys basketball maintains share of MBC lead by beating Ellsworth

Somerset senior Reggie Larson (left) makes a move to the hoop during a recent game against Spooner.

Teams that try to get into a battle of offensive firepower with the Somerset boys basketball team are going to have their hands full.

That's what Ellsworth found out last Friday when the Panthers tried to play an up-tempo game with the Spartans. The Spartans had the lead in double-figures by halftime and they won comfortably in Ellsworth, 68-56.

The Spartans took control of the game from the opening tip. Ellsworth did have one scoring burst near the end of the first quarter to cut Somerset's lead to 12-11. The Spartans quickly re-established their lead, heading into halftime with a 33-21 advantage. The lead grew as large as 20 points in the second half.

Some deadly shooting carried the Spartans, who hit 52 percent of their shots from the field, including 47 percent of their three-point attempts.

Leading the offense were senior Luke Praschak and junior Gaelin Elmore. Praschak was deadly, hitting all six of his shots from the field, including four three-pointers. Elmore led the Spartans with 23 points, hitting 10-17 shots from the field.

An unheralded aspect of Elmore's game is his passing. He led the Spartans with six assists in Friday's game.

"With his size, he's able to look over people and he's also good off the dribble," said Somerset coach Brent Larson. Larson said Elmore is good at getting the ball to teammates on the perimeter for open threes and at passing from the high post to teammates working along the baseline.

Elmore also led the Spartans with nine rebounds in Friday's game.

The Spartans are currently tied with Durand at the top of the Middle Border Conference standings. Somerset will host Amery in an MBC contest this Thursday. The Spartans get their first look at Durand next Tuesday, when the two teams meet on the Panthers' home court.