MIDDLETOWN — The Shenandoah Raiders spent three quarters trying to scratch and claw out of a first-quarter hole but never did quite manage to escape here Tuesday night.
Elwood ran off to a 22-9 lead after eight minutes on its way to a tough 58-48 triumph.
Panthers' senior Jared Bourff scored 11 points in the first quarter on his way to a game-high 20 as the team won for the 11th time in 20 outings.
Bourff hit all seven of his field goals in the first half before Shenandoah made a defensive switch that involved having one player and a helper on him throughout the final 16 minutes. Down the stretch, after the Raiders' rally fizzled just shy of the intended result, they had to foul to try and pull even.
Elwood put the ball mostly in the hands of Bourff and fellow senior Dakin Updegraff and they combined to hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final minutes to preserve the win.
Panthers' center Tracey Ganow was accomplished at everything but free throws, missing just one field goal on his way to an 18-point evening.
Shenandoah was able to cut the Elwood lead to three on a pair of occasions in the final four minutes. That second-half spark was provided by Jared Wininger and Mason Griggs. Each scored seven points after intermission.
Mason Griggs had a team-high 11 points followed by Gavin Griggs and Wininger with 10 apiece.
Thanks mostly to the Raiders having to foul in the final three minutes of the game, the Panthers shot 30 free throws to just four for the home team. That might have been a good thing for the Raiders as they netted just one of those four attempts.
Elwood ganered some extra opportunities to score through turnovers and rebounds. The visitors had 10 miscues to 14 for the Raiders. Elwood also won the board battle 30-26 with Bourff getting 12 rebounds to get his double-double and Ganow snatching nine to just miss his.
Gavin Griggs paced Shenandoah (8-11) with nine rebounds and Terick Warner was next with eight.
The Raiders finish the season at Wapahani on Friday before going to the Lapel Sectional next week and facing the host Bulldogs.
Elwood finishes the regular season at home against Wabash on Friday and then will travel to Alexandria next week to face Madison-Grant there.