With just hours before a showdown for the top of the Southern Lakes Conference, both the Elkhorn adn Central boys basketball teams held serve Friday night.

Visiting Central made certain it would go into today’s critical Southern Lakes Conference matchup with Elkhorn holding a one-game lead atop the conference with a 70-44 win over Waterford.

Jaeden Zackery scored a game-high 26 points, Dylan Anderson scored 15 and Joey Michelau added 12 as Central (17-1 overall, 11-0 SLC) won its 11th consecutive game heading into today’s 2:30 p.m. matchup with the Elks in Paddock Lake.

With its victory over Wilmot on Friday night, Elkhorn won its ninth straight to improve to 16-2 overall and 10-1 in the conference.

With two conference games left after today, the Falcons will either clinch a share of the SLC title and have a two-lead lead on the Elks for first place, or the teams will be tied for first.

As for Waterford (5-15, 3-10), Willie Ketterhagen made five 3-pointers and scored 16 points to lead the Wolverines against Central.

Elkhorn 92, Wilmot 65

The visiting Elks held a 45-32 halftime lead and cruised from there to improve to 10-1 in conference play and 16-2 overall.

Kevin Sandman hit five 3-pointers and finished with 20 points to lead Wilmot (14-5, 8-4). Kevin Brenner and Noah Coleman each chipped in with eight points.

Racine Case 60, Bradford 59

The visiting Red Devils lost another heartbreaker when the Eagles’ putback at the buzzer gave them a one-point Southeast Conference victory.

Jashon Lee scored 20 points to lead Bradford, which has lost three of its last four game at the buzzer. Bradford coach Greg Leech appreciates the improvement his young team has made, but obviously these close losses are tough.

“We’re getting better,” Leech said. “It’s just when you get that close three out of four times, it would be nice for the kids to get a victory. It’s just affirmation that everything we’re doing is right.

“The kids are improving a lot, and I’m proud of the progress we’ve made.”

The Red Devils (6-14 overall, 3-10 SEC) will find out their postseason matchup at today’s seeding meeting before wrapping up the regular season Thursday at Racine Horlick.

Case improved to 12-8 and 6-6.

Franklin 65, Tremper 62

The visiting Trojans rallied from a 43-20 halftime deficit to nearly pull off a win over the Sabers, the second-place team in the SEC.

And it’s likely that Tremper (7-14 overall, 1-13 SEC) is kicking itself over its performance at the free-throw line, as the Trojans went just 6-of-17 from the charity stripe in a game they lost by three points.

Jyon Young led Tremper with 17 points, Jake Gross and Blake Hoffman scored 13 each, Zach Johnson totaled 10 and Zayshan Coleman added nine.

Zak Klug scored a game-high 23 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead Franklin (15-5, 9-3).

Racine Prairie 83, St. Joseph 56

The host Lancers fell behind by 31 points at halftime and couldn’t recover in the Metro Classic Conference setback.

Tim Berry led St. Joseph (4-14, 2-11) with 19 points, followed by Andrew Alia with 11 and Caiden Leece with seven.

Prairie (12-8, 8-6) was led by Antuan Nesbitt’s 18 points. The Hawks knocked down 10 3-pointers in the win.

“We took a tough lost tonight against a really good team,” St. Joseph coach Brandon Morris said. “Our challenge will be how well we bounce back (tonight).”

St. Thomas More 49, Shoreland Luth. 45, OT

The Cavaliers outscored the Pacers 12-8 in the overtime period to win the Metro Classic Conference game in Somers.

Shoreland held a 35-28 lead with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, but St. Thomas More closed regulation with a 9-2 run to force overtime.

“We battled Thomas More the whole game and overtime, and came up just short,” Shoreland coach Paul Strutz said.

The Pacers fell to 5-14 overall and 1-14 in conference with the loss, while the Cavaliers improved to 9-11 and 4-10.

Quentin Bolton led the Pacers with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Sawyer Smith added 10 points and three assists.

Micah Causey scored a game-high 15 points for St. Thomas More.

Girls basketball

Racine Horlick 72, Indian Trail 51

The visiting Hawks finished their regular season with a Southeast Conference defeat Thursday night.

Kalina Winslow scored 19 points to lead Indian Trail (3-19 overall, 0-14 SEC), which is a No. 16 seed and will host No. 17 seed Madison West in a WIAA Division-1 regional quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The Rebels (13-9, 8-6) got 24 points from Jordann Ellison and 21 from Olivia Pitrof, the conference’s leading scorer.

Elkhorn 65, Central 21

The Elks limited the Falcons to nine points in the first half and cruised to a Southern Lakes Conference home victory.

Central dropped to 3-19 overall and 2-12 in conference.

Jill Adams scored a team-high seven points for Central, which trailed by 30 points at halftime and was outscored 26-12 in the second half. Ellie Witt and Sara Backus added five points apiece.

Payton Christensen knocked down seven shots from the field and led Elkhorn (14-8, 6-8) with 19 points.

Living Word Lutheran 87, Christian Life 21

Alayna Smith hit three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points to lead the visiting Eagles, who fell to 7-13 overall and 1-10 in the Midwest Classic Conference.

Kaila Woods added five points for Faith Christian.

Living Word Lutheran improved to 9-11 and 6-4 in conference play.

Mike Johnson, Dan Truttschel and Scott Koker

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