ELK MOUND — In a pre-season interview with Elk Mound boys’ basketball coach Chris Hahn, he stated his seniors would be the backbone of the team and would have to be leaders in practice and during games. It appears those four seniors, Nick Heit, Dakota Tarnow, Hunter Dicus and Ryan Bridges, all in their third season of varsity play, were up to the task as they were instrumental in helping the team go from a 15-9 record their sophomore year to 21-3 as juniors and 23-1 this season, winning the first conference championship in 16 years for the school.
Heit led the team in scoring as a senior with 255 points. He averaged 10.6 points a game and shot 52% from the field and knocked down 49 three pointers out of 140 attempts for 35% and was deadly at the free throw line hitting 42 of 48 attempts for a phenomenal 87%. He also collected 42 rebounds, 56 assists and 45 steals this season. Totals for his three years include 455 points with 99 triples and 61 of 71 from the charity stripe for 81%. He finished with 60 rebounds, 58 assists and 57 steals. His career high came in a game most Elk Mound and Colfax fans won’t forget when he scored 23 points in a win over the Vikings this year, draining seven three pointers with five of them in the first quarter. After earning All Conference honorable mention as a junior, Heit was a first team selection this year.
Tarnow played in 69 games and was a three year starter for the Mounders. He had his best stat year as a sophomore with 179 points for an 8.1 average with 33 triples, and he grabbed 90 rebounds. In three years, he totaled 414 points, 204 rebounds, 46 assists and 54 steals. He knocked down 62 treys in 154 tries for 40% and was 51 for 77 at the foul line for 66%. His high game as a senior was 15 points against Glenwood City and he was named to the second team All Conference team.
Dicus played three games as a sophomore and moved into the starting lineup his junior year. In 47 total games, he scored 245 points, snared 118 rebounds, picked up 63 assists with 51 steals. He shot 61% from the free throw line on 27 of 44 attempts and overall hit on 50% of shots taken on 86 of 171 attempts. As as senior he blocked seven shots and had a high game of 12 points against Mondovi. In his junior year, Dicus averaged 5.7 points a game and shot 53% from the field on 39 of 73 shooting. He was named honorable mention All Conference as a senior.
Ryan Bridges was a key player off the bench for the Mounders, and after seeing action in just two games as a sophomore, he played in 22 his junior year and all 24 as a senior. He scored 132 of his total 222 points this year and made 48% of his shots hitting 42 of 87 field goal attempts. He also connected on 38 of 53 free throws for 71%, grabbed 58 rebounds, came up with 17 steals and added seven assists. Overall he snared 107 rebounds, 35 steals and eight assists. His high game came this year with 16 points against Plum City and in his first start against Regis back in January, he scored eight points, grabbed seven rebounds and had three steals.
“The seniors were a big part of our success and improvement these past years,” Hahn said. “They didn’t care who scored as long as we won and they were very unselfish in every game. They set a great example for their teammates and the younger kids,” he added.