Ellsworth started its season with a solid team effort from starters and bench players alike with a 79-75 road win against Somerset on Tuesday.

Somerset held an eight-point lead early in the game, while star senior Autumn Earney found herself in foul trouble before the Panthers rallied back. With the score tied 34-34, Brianna Giese and Ava Brookshaw each hit from behind the 3-point line to give the Panthers a 40-34 halftime lead.

With Earney still on the bench to start the second half, Hayley Bach picked up right where the first half ended by scoring the game’s first five second-half points. Ellsworth held a double-digit lead until 10 minutes remained in the game. Over the course of the next seven minutes the Spartans began to chip away at the Panthers’ lead, getting within one point as the score was 70-69 with three minutes to go. The two teams battled in the final minutes until Giese hit a free throw with eight seconds remaining to give the Panthers a four-point edge as Somerset was out of timeouts.

“We are so proud of the girls for handling some adversity and finding a way to hang on to an extremely hard-fought win,” Ellsworth head girls basketball coach Jason Janke said. “When Autumn was in and out with foul trouble, the girls were lost for a while. I thought Brianna and Ava hitting those 3's prior to half gave us a boost that you just can't get without kids just flat-out stepping up. We were really proud of them.”

Earney led a very balanced Panthers attack with 22 points. Bach was close behind with 19, while Molly Janke and Brookshaw, both freshmen seeing their first varsity action, had 14 and 13 points, respectively. Giese added seven and Lily Puhrmann a basket as well. Puhrmann and Janke led the team nine rebounds each.

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Ellsworth, 1-0, hosts its first game of the season Friday, Dec. 4, as Baldwin-Woodville visits.

E/PC narrowly defeats Gilmanton

Elmwood/Plum City earned a win in its first game of the season without arguably its best player, junior Maggie Glaus. The duo of Hannah Baier and Anna Blanford powered the Wolves past Gilmanton on Tuesday, 37-36.

Blanford had a team-high 13 points, while Baier was right behind with 12. Hailee McDonough finished with six points, Isabella Forster had four and Lily Webb had two.

Baier was the team leader in rebounds with 10, followed by Blanford’s nine and McDonough’s eight. Forster also had a team-high four steals.

E/PC, 1-0, travels to Colfax on Thursday, Dec. 3 for its next game.

Prescott wins big in first attempt

Prescott put on a scoring clinic for its home fans as the Cardinals outpaced Cochrane-Fountain City on Tuesday, 71-51.

Senior Isabella Lenz, a Michigan Tech commit, was the game’s top scorer with 24 points. Freshman Lila Posthuma, playing in her first varsity game, also hit double digits as she scored 12 points. Other notable Prescott scorers were Brynley Goehring, Katrina Budworth and Rylie Radloff with seven points while Sydney Matzek recorded six points.

Nicole Dalman had a team-high nine rebounds, followed by Lenz’s seven boards. Dalman led the team with four steals, while Goehring and Lenz led the team with four assists each.

Prescott, 1-0, travels to St. Croix Falls on Tuesday for its next game.