By Bruce Strand
Elk River Star News
A solid upset bid by the Rogers Royals fell short as Aaron Lehn and the Moorhead Spuds held them off 72-66 in the Section 8AAAA opener Wednesday evening.
In a back-and-forth game at Moorhead with several runs by both teams, the No. 6 seeded Royals led 33-31 at halftime, but could not overcome a big free throw advantage by the No. 3 Spuds. Moorhead made 18-for-25 while Rogers was 8-for-11.
Lehn, a senior forward, poured in 30 points, including 11-for-14 on free shots, against a box-and-one employed by Rogers. Senior forward Austin Nelson added 22 for the Spuds (17-8), who’ll now take on Elk River in the semifinals.
Senior guard Cullen Loughlin kept Rogers in the game with 19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Cole Murray added 17 points, Ryan Gelle 11 and Sam Spilles 10 before fouling out.
Each team made six 3-pointers.
The Royals finished with a 10-17 record. The loss ended Rogers’ winter sports season.