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Last-second basket gives Panthers win; Fosston gets past Northome-Kelliher

Jake Ellis found an opening under the basket, took a feed from Chad Wittner and scored with 2.9 seconds to play to give the Cass Lake-Bena boys basketball team a 47-46 victory over Red Lake County in Monday's East Sub-Section 8A semifinal game at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls.

CL-B (22-6) returns to the REA at 6 p.m. today for the sub-section championship game against Fosston, which ended Kelliher-Northome's Cinderalla run with a 56-43 victory in Monday's second game.

Ellis' basket capped a comeback which saw the top-seeded Panthers rally from first-half deficits of 8-0 and 18-6. By intermission CL-B had whittled the gap to 28-21 and the Panthers maintained the momentum in the final 18 minutes.

Despite rallying in the second half, Cass Lake-Bena trailed 46-45 with 53 seconds to play after RLC's Scott Herberg converted both halves of a bonus free throw situation.

The Panthers misfired on their next possession and the Rebels, who were seeded fourth in the sub-section, had an opportunity to ice the victory when Kevin Longtin stepped to the line for two free throws with 14 seconds on the clock.

Longtin, however, missed both shots and CL-B immediately called time out.

When play resumed, Ellis in-bounded to Wittner, who hurried into the offensive zone. Wittner eventually spotted Ellis under the basket and threaded a pass to his junior teammate. Ellis promptly spun around the defender and scored the game-winner.

Ellis finished with 16 points while Caleb Fisher and Wittner each had 10. Cody Wind contributed nine.

Herberg had 21 points for the Rebels and Longtin ended with 15. RLC ended its season 16-12.

Kelliher-Northome, the No. 6 seed, was looking for its second straight upset win against the Greyhounds. The sixth-seeded Mustangs knocked off third-seeded Mahnomen 63-60 last week.

But Fosston, which has won eight of its last 10 games, improved to 19-6 with the 13-point win. Kelliher-Northome ended 12-15.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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