After his team's 60-41 loss to the Ellsworth Panthers boys' basketball team, Somerset's head coach Taylor Germain had some complimentary words for the Panthers' star forward Logan Benson.

"Defensively, he gave us more problems than offensively," Germain told New Richmond News sports reporter Dave Newman. "Benson is a very talented defender. They have him camp out in the paint, and they funnel everything to him."

Germain isn't the first to compliment Benson this season and won't be the last. But in Panthers head coach Jordan Petersen's eyes, it was a complete team defensive effort that allowed his team to hold the Spartans (4-6, 1-3) to 41 points on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

"Last night's game was a total team win," Petersen said Wednesday afternoon. "We are continuing to define and grow in our defensive mindset."

Sophomore Mason Anderson contributed three steals to the Panthers' defensive effort, while senior co-captain Erik Lange added two steals and two blocks.

Senior co-captain Benson led the offensive charge with 17 points and added nine rebounds, three blocks and three assists to his stat line.

Petersen said his team has trusted its team defense to get stops and play with its principals, which he believes has shown off in the Panthers' play.

Ellsworth is now 6-3 on the season and 4-0 in Middle Border Conference play. The Panthers will continue their season on Thursday, Jan. 10, when they travel to St. Croix Central High School to challenge the blue Panthers (4-5, 2-2) on their home court.

Scoring for Ellsworth: Benson 17; Anderson 14; Cole Woodland 9; Lange, Ivan Mendez 7; Jack White 3; Matthew Merkens 2; Terrell Peterson 1.

St. Croix Central 71, Prescott 70

The Prescott Cardinals recorded their third loss of Middle Border Conference play on Tuesday, Jan. 8, when they fell short late in their away game against the St. Croix Central Panthers.

After leading 39-35 at the break, the Cardinals found themselves down 71-69 with 1.2 seconds remaining in the conference matchup. SCC (4-5, 2-2) sent the Cardinals to the free-throw line in the final second of regulation, but Prescott was unable to force overtime.

Parker Nielsen led all scorers with 25 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the field in his first game back after his sidelining knee surgery. Nielsen also led the Cardinals in assists with seven dimes and added three rebounds and three assists to his stat line.

Jacob Doffing recorded 17 points and 14 rebounds for a double-double, and Brian Tayson contributed 14 points and five rebounds.

The Cardinals shot 18-for-40 from the field, went 13-for-16 from the free-throw line and hit 7 of 24 3-point attempts.

SCC was led in scoring by Zac Jourdeans who nearly matched Nielsen's 25 with 24 points of his own. Peyton Nogal also reached the 20-point mark in Tuesday's game.

The Cardinals will have a chance to end their conference losing streak on Tuesday, Jan. 15, when they host the Amery Warriors (2-8, 1-3).

Scoring for Prescott: Nielsen 25; Doffing, Tayson 14; Joe Lubich 8; Mitch Schommer 6; Dylan Malmlov 3.