Elkhart Elks

LEON – The Elkhart Elks had their playoff spot secured for a couple weeks now. All that was left was the opponent.

The Elks are set for their second battle against the Franklin Lions tonight on the gym floor of Leon High School.

The two non-district opponents met Dec. 17 when the Lions ran away with a 76-42 victory. Head coach Tom Spears is confident his team is a better unit then the one placed on the court a couple months ago.

In fact, that loss to Franklin was the third of a seven-game losing streak the Elks suffered.

Now, Elkhart enters the Bi-District round winning three of their past four games by an average margin of 15 points.

“This year we've gotten to prepare a little bit more,” Spears said. “I'm excited. The kids are excited. We're looking forward to the challenge.”

It has been 10 days since the Elks last played a meaningful game prior till tonight. It's much different from the beginning of their 2019 playoff journey where they had three days before the Bi-District to scout and prepare.

The Elks needed a play-in win over Westwood last year to sneak into the fourth seed as they had dropped their previous three games till that point.

Their playoff story was short lived. They took a 46-31 loss to Little River Academy who had won 11 of their previous 12 games entering the first round.

Similar circumstances befall the Elks tonight as Franklin has won nine of their past 10 games.

“[We're] confident coming into this game,” Spears said. “I know what Franklin is going to do. They pressed us earlier in the year and we didn't play very well. District as helped prepare us for tonight.”

One of the biggest points of emphasis is Elkhart's ability to get Ky Thomas going early. Thomas averaged 14 points throughout district play, but did record a pair of 18 point games and a 22-point performance.

The Elks want to play inside-out and once Thomas gets rolling it'll open up perimeter shots for their team.

“We're going to go in the game loose,” Spears said. “We're a much better team than what they saw at first. Anytime somebody beats you that way the first time you have a little hunger. We're going to play hard I promise you that.”

Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. tonight at Leon High School.

Playoff Schedule




Bi-District Round

Class 3A-Region III

Elkhart v. Franklin

Where: Leon High School

When: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

Frankston v. Little River Academy

Where: Leon High School

When: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.

Class 2A-Region III

Grapeland v. Kerens

Where: Frankston High Sschool

When: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.

Slocum v. Itasca

Where: Athens High Sschool

When: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

Cayuga v. Lovelady

Where: Fairfield High Sschool

When: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m.

Class 1A-Region IV

Neches v. Trinidad

Where: TVCC Gym, Athens

When: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.

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