Tigers, Lady Tigers edge Elba

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 30, 2006

In heart-stopping action Friday night, the Luverne High School Tigers and Lady Tigers edged past Elba, with the varsity boys being sent into overtime.

Coach Richard Dorsey said that Friday night’s game was &uot;a big win,&uot; putting them at an overall 10-10 record for the season and a 2-2 area record.

Luverne kept it close throughout the entire game, ending the first quarter tied at 14-14 with Elba inching away by the end of the first half with 28 to Luverne’s 25 points.

Luverne’s Fred Hawkins had seven points and eight rebounds for the first half, while senior Gary Franklin added seven points and five rebounds. Brezman Lowery added seven points during first half action as well.

Mike Kilpatrick, Gary Franklin, D.J. McCreary, Fred Hawkins and Stoney Jackson started the fourth quarter. With four minutes left in the game, the Tigers began pulling away 49-44. After a timeout, Elba began a full-court press while Hawkins answered with two freethrows putting Luverne out front 51-44.

But, Elba soon caught up with Luverne bringing the score to 52-51. Franklin was fouled and sank two freethrows of his own, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Elba Tigers from adding two baskets in the last 15 seconds of the game.

Luverne called for a time-out with four seconds left on the clock with Elba up by one 55-54. Elba fouled Gary Franklin with one second left to play. Franklin sank the tying basket that sent the game into overtime.

Freethrows went back and forth between the two teams until Elba pulled ahead 62-60 over Luverne because of turnovers. Franklin sank two more freethrows with 13 seconds left on the clock bringing the score to 63-63. After three failed attempts at the board, Elba fouled Franklin again allowing him to sink the game-winning freethrow 64-63. Mike Kilpatrick recovered the ball at the very end of the game for the Tigers’ final rally. Hawkins was the highest scorer with 24 points, while Gary Franklin put in 22 points, and Brezman Lowery added 10.

Elba’s Gulley Mason racked up 21 points for the game.

According to Coach Richard Dorsey, Luverne’s Gary Franklin, who is a senior, really &uot;stepped up to the plate at the end.&uot;

&uot;He’s definitely one of the leaders on the team,&uot; Dorsey said.

&uot;We played defense well and kept our poise until the last minute,&uot; he said. &uot;We’re a veteran team, but this has been a learning experience.&uot;

The Tigers face Highland Home this Friday in area action at home.