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Toppers suffer back-to-back losses to open season

By Kelsie Hoitomt

The Glenwood City boys’ basketball team had their first game of the season last Friday night against undefeated D-SC conference contenders, Elk Mound, whom they lost to 66-40. They were back at home on Monday night to host Spring Valley, which ended in a loss of 65-55.

Despite their loss to Elk Mound, the 40 points scored by the Hilltoppers was still impressive considering the Mounders had four games on them and the Toppers had just six days of practice as a team.

It was a typical first game as the dust had to knocked off the shoes and the wheels had to be oiled before the Topper team found their groove on the court.

This was evident in the first quarter as they posted just two points on a basket from Todd Petersen with one minute left to go in the quarter. The Mounders had 18 points to give them a 18-2 lead.

The second quarter was much improved as they posted 16 points, nine of which were from three-point baskets by Kip Wallace. Richard Ross had a triple as well and Petersen and Nick Mrdutt each had a basket, which put the score at 35-18 at the half.

Three turnovers in the start of the third quarter hurt the Toppers on offense. The Mounders were able to steal the ball and rack up 23 points, which put the score at 58-28 by the fourth.

The Toppers were able to post ten points in the fourth on an inside shot from Ross followed by a triple and then a basket by Petersen.

Mrdutt drew his fourth foul however and Marcus Kadinger took over, which worked out for the Toppers as he drained a triple towards the end of the quarter.

Despite giving up the ball a handful of times in the fourth quarter, the Toppers still were able to score 12 points.

Wallace drained a triple then Joel Ormson scored his first basket for the first five points. Then it was Wallace with another trey and two foul shots to put the score at 66-38.

The game ended with Nathan Mrdutt stealing the ball away and making a layup for the final two points.

“We have only had six practices and need to get into a basketball mindset. We finished strong and started to execute our plays better as the game went on,” said coach Tristin Kittilson. “We were trying to get the ball inside, but they are very talented and quick and that didn’t work for us. I saw a lost of positives and we will keep working from that.”

Wallace, a junior on the team, was the all-star of the night for the Toppers with 17 points posted after he drained five, three-point baskets and was two for two at the foul line.

Following in points was Ross with eight, Petersen had six, Kadinger had three and Nick Mrdutt, Nathan Mrdutt and Ormson each had two.

The Toppers were 100 percent at the foul line with two shots made from just two attempts. As for the Mounders, they had 21 attempts and were successful with 14 of them.

Home against the Cardinals

It was a heated game against the Cardinals with bumping, pushing and plenty of fouls all rolled into one fast paced contest that resulted in Spring Valley winning 65-55.

The Toppers had a one point lead over the Cardinals after the first half on a basket by Petersen with a few seconds left on the clock to put the score at 14-13.

The Toppers scored an additional 11 points in the second including a triple, two doubles and a foul shot by Nick Mrdutt.

However, the Cardinals edged the lead after posting 16 points to put the score at 29-25 going into the half.

The Toppers seemed to fall apart in the first three minutes of the second half with poor passes that allowed the Cardinals to jump ahead by ten points.

It took three minutes before the Toppers put down a basket, which came from Kadinger to put the score at 39-27.

It was a trey by Wallace with under 20 seconds left on the clock in the third that closed the ten point gap to eight with the score at 38-46 going into the fourth.

The fourth quarter resulted in more fouls collected against the Toppers and poor passes, which again led to the Cardinals taking a ten point lead of 50-40 with six minutes still left in the game.

They came within four points after Petersen drained a three, then grabbed a steal and took a shot from under the net and was fouled on his way down.

The foul shot was missed, but Kadinger was quick on the rebound and knocked the ball down to put the score at 50-54 with four minutes left.

The Toppers lost control of the ball after this and three consecutive turnovers pushed the Cardinals back ahead by a decent lead.

The final shot was scored by Kadinger from inside to end the game at 65-55.

Nick Mrdutt played an aggressive game with several rebounds as well as the team high in points with 17. He posted five doubles, one triple and was four for six at the foul line.

Following was Kadinger with 13 points, Petersen had ten, Ross had eight, Wallace had three and Nathan Mrdutt and Billy Norenberg each had two.

The Toppers were 50 percent from the foul line with seven shots successful out of 14. The Cardinals finished just over .500 with 13 attempts made out of 22.

The Toppers will be back in action this Thursday night at home against the Plum City Blue Devils starting at 7:30 p.m.