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PLAYOFF BATTLE: Joseph's Corey Otten scored 13 points, but Elgin won 59-45 to take the No. 3 seed in the Wapiti District Tournament, which begins Friday in La Grande. (The Observer/RAENELLE KWOCK).
PLAYOFF BATTLE: Joseph's Corey Otten scored 13 points, but Elgin won 59-45 to take the No. 3 seed in the Wapiti District Tournament, which begins Friday in La Grande. (The Observer/RAENELLE KWOCK).

By Raenelle Kwock

Observer Staff Writer

IMBLER — The Elgin basketball boys wrapped up the Wapiti League No. 3 seed by defeating Joseph 59-45 Tuesday.

"This was a huge game going into district," Elgin coach Kyle Evans said.

Elgin and Joseph ended the regular season tied with 9-5 league records, forcing the playoff to determine the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds.

Joseph will play league champion Nyssa at 4:15 p.m. Friday at La Grande High School. Elgin plays Imbler at 8:15 p.m. Friday at La Grande High School.

Rebounding was key for the Huskies.

"The kids crashed the boards," Evans said. "They played hard."

Evans said the press hurt the Huskies the last time they played Joseph.

On Tuesday, the Huskies generated steals and quick lay-ups off the press.

Evans said the Huskies didn't shoot their free throws well, but made them when it counted.

The Huskies are a different type of team this year, Evans added.

"The guys do really get along," he said. "All of them have the desire to win. They work hard."

The Huskies opened up a double-digit lead towards the end of the third quarter.

Brandon Evans' jumper put the Huskies up 40-29. J.T. Keating's lay-up increased the Huskies' lead to 42-31 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Eagles cut the deficit to 10 points several times in the fourth quarter. They trailed by eight points for a brief moment, but the Huskies answered with a lay-up for a double-digit lead.

Joseph's Derek Layton hit a 3-pointer to close to within 55-45 with about two minutes left in the game, but that was as close as Joseph got.

Brandon Evans led the Huskies with 17 points. J.T. Keating and Ricky Foster had 10 apiece.

Corey Otten paced Joseph with 13 points.

Elgin 59, Joseph 45

Elgin boys 9 15 18 17 — 59

Joseph 12 9 10 14 — 45

Elgin — Ricky Foster 5 0-2 10, Codi Burgess 2 4-6 9, Skyler Payne 2 3-8 7, Brandon Evans 6 4-8 17, Charlie Schumacher 3 0-0 6, J.T. Keating 4 1-3 10, Bill Miller. Totals: 22 12-27 59.

Joseph — Corey Otten 5 2-2 13, Andy Hayes 2 0-0 4, Kyle Hook 1 2-2 4, Cole Lathrop 3 2-2 8, Tristan Patton 1 2-4 4, Joe Dawson 0 3-4 3, Malte Sievers 2 0-0 4, Derek Layton 2 0-2 5, Justin Bird. Totals: 16 11-16 45.

Three-pointers — Elgin 3 (Burgess, Evans, Keating); Joseph 2 (Otten, Layton). Fouled out — Otten. Total fouls — Elgin 17, Joseph 21. Technical fouls — None..

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