Although their three wins last week weren’t all a cake walk, the Mounder boys managed to keep their perfect record intact at 18-0 starting with a 40-37 overtime win over Mondovi in a Monday night makeup game Feb. 4. They stayed on the road and turned a slim two point lead, after three quarters of play at Bloomer, into a 14 point win 62-48 the following night, then played at home two days later and took care of business by pummeling Plum City 64-29, giving them a share of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference title for the first time in 16 years. If they pick up another win over Plum City Feb. 11, it will give them the title outright since they are two games up on Colfax with just one game left-against that same Colfax team Feb. 15.
After defeating the Buffaloes by 16 points in their first go around, the Mounders discovered this was a much improved herd of Buffaloes. Elk Mound was held to a scant four points in the first quarter while Mondovi picked up eight, but the Mounders found their shooting eye by scoring 14 second quarter points and took a nine point lead with five points coming from Travis Nelson on one shot from the paint and another from long range. Nick Heit drained a three ball, and Zac Doll, Austin Hanson and Hunter Dicus all chipped in with a deuce, but their lead was cut to one at the half, 18-17.
Ryan Bridges came up with six of the Mounders 10 points in the third quarter while the defense dominated by shutting the Buffs out and they seemed to have things under control with an 11 point lead. But things were somewhat reversed in the fourth as Mondovi outscored the Mounders 15-4 to send the game into overtime.
“Our sloppy play allowed Mondovi to get back into the game and force overtime,” Elk Mound coach Chris Hahn said. “We didn’t rebound very well and they were able to get a lot of second chance points.”
Heit came up with two straight buckets to start things off in the extra period, on a steal and lay-up from a Doll assist, and Doll hit a pair of free tosses, but Mondovi forced some more turnovers and got back to within a point. Heit calmly put in two free throws and Doll came up with a game ending block on the other end of the court to put the game away.
Scoring their lowest point total of the year, Heit led the team with nine points and the team went 10 for 11 at the foul line.
ELK MOUND (40) Heit 3-2-2-9, Bridges 3-2-2-8, Doll 2-2-2-6, Dicus 3-0-0-6, Nelson 2-0-0-5, A. Gottschalk 0-2-2-2, Hanson 1-0-0-2, D. Tarnow 0-2-2-2
MONDOVI (37) Q. Buchholz 6-0-0-12, AJ Risler 4-0-0-8, B. Vetterkind 3-0-1-7, M. Konitzer 2-1-2-6, E. Wolf 1-0-0-2, T. Serum 1-0-0-2
Three Pointers: Heit 1, Nelson 1, Konitzer 1, Vetterkind 1
After falling behind 11-2 to a solid Blackhawk team, Hanson, Nelson and Adam Gottschalk came off the bench to spark a 15-0 run for the Mounders, allowing them to hold a 17-11 advantage after a quarter of play. Their shots wouldn’t fall in the second quarter however, and they held just a slim 27-25 lead at the intermission.
They maintained their two point advantage heading into the final eight minutes and after Bloomer knotted the game to start the quarter, the Mounders began knocking down shots over the Blackhawk’s zone defense. They put the game away when they went on a 20-0 run led by seven points from Heit.
“Playing back to back games against good teams gave us a chance to experience what it’s like to get ready for a game without practicing,” Hahn said. “I thought we were a little fatigued in the first half but our bench was so solid tonight that we never missed a beat when we made substitutions. Doll played very well on both sides of the court for us tonight,” he added.
Elk Mound went 11 for 20 from the charity stripe as Doll knocked down 5 of 8 and led the team in scoring with a season high 19 points. The Mounders also connected for nine triples in the win as Nelson accounted for three of them.
ELK MOUND (62) Doll 6-5-8-19, Nelson 3-2-2-11, Heit 3-2-3-10, Gottschalk 2-2-2-6, Dicus 2-0-0-6, Hanson 2-0-0-4, Bridges 2-0-3-4
BLOOMER (48) T. Mullen 5-3-4-14, L. Fashingbauer 6-1-4-14, P. jenneman 3-0-0-9, D. Dezern 1-0-0-3, N. Zeman 1-0-0-3, M. Ruf 1-1-2-3
THREE POINTERS: Nelson 3, Jenneman 3, Heit 2, Doll 2, Dicus 2, Dezern 1, Mullen 1, Zeman 1, Fashingbauer 1
Three Mounders scored in double figures in the rout with Bridges scoring a season high 16 to lead the way. Elk Mound led 21-8 after the first quarter, 35-14 at the half and 49-22 heading into the final quarter. Nelson came up with five of his 14 points of the game and Logan Strom collected five of his 10 points in the last eight minutes to finish things off.
“Even though we played against a young Plum City team, this was still an exciting game for our players,” coach Hahn said. “We had a chance to go out and clinch a share of the conference title and we were able to do that. At the beginning of the season, we set this as our number one goal. We are very excited to win the title but we realize there is a lot of our season left and this is just the first goal on our list. We have a lot of things we have to improve on if we are going to accomplish some of our other goals,” he added.
ELK MOUND (64) Bridges 6-4-5-16, Nelson 6-0-0-14,Strom 3-1-3-10, Hanson 4-0-0-8, Doll 2-1-2-6, Dicus 3-0-0-6, Heit 1-0-0-2, Tarnow 1-0-0-2
PLUM CITY (28) C. Longsdorf 3-0-0-7, A. Boyer 2-1-2-5, N. Gilles 2-0-0-5, A. Coss 1-3-4-5, T. Niebur 2-0-0-4, A. Gilles 1-0-0-2, K. Erickson 0-1-2-1
THREE POINTERS: Nelson 2, Doll 1, Strom 1, Lonesdorf 1, N. Gilles 1