By Kelsie Hoitomt
GLENWOOD CITY – The Glenwood City boys’ basketball team was victorious on their own court last Thursday night, January 16. They beat the St. Croix Central Panthers 59-43 for their second conference win.
They were in Spring Valley for another conference contest on Saturday afternoon. That outcome was however different as the team lost by just four points in a 50-46 final.
Lastly, they were in Boyceville for a make-up game on Monday evening. The contest was close, but it ended in their favor with the final at 47-43.
Win at home
A strong first quarter with 22 points scored allowed the Hilltoppers to take a commanding lead and set the pace for the remainder of the game against the Panthers.
Richard Ross had a successful first quarter with seven points posted from two doubles and a three. Jake Hierlmeier had a three as well to start the game and Nick Mrdutt, Todd Petersen and Marcus Kadinger put down six doubles between them.
The Toppers cut their points in half in the second quarter as they scored 11, but the defense allowed the Panthers just eight points. The first half of the game ended with the score at 33-18
The game turned into an even match up in the second half with points scored, but due to that strong first quarter, the Toppers were able to stay out in front.
Both teams posted 12 points in the third quarter. The Toppers drained two additional three pointers, one from Ross and Petersen each.
The Panthers were also handed their first personal foul, which put Hierlmeier on the line to shoot the team’s first free throws; he was successful with both.
There was a one-point difference in the scoring during the fourth quarter. The Toppers put down 14 points from four doubles, three free throws and yet another triple from Ross.
On the other side, the Panthers posted 13 points, which put the final score at 59-43.
Leading the team in points were Ross and Petersen as they each had 15. Ross had a solid game from outside the arc with three triples and then three doubles as well. Petersen’s aggressive play allowed him to score six doubles and one three.
Mrdutt followed with 11 points of his own from five doubles and one free throw. Hierlmeier had eight points from two doubles, one triple and he was perfect from the line with four out of four free throws made. Kadinger finished with four points from two doubles and Kip Wallace had one three-point basket.
On the road to SV
“We were leading at half time and it was a very physical game,” said coach Tristan Kittilson. “Down the stretch Spring Valley made some big shots and we missed them”.
The Toppers started off with a decent lead of 13-6 over the Cardinals. However only scoring nine points in the second compared to their 14 allowed the game to become close with the score at 22-20 at the half.
Free throws made quite the difference in the second half of the game as the Toppers went nine for 20 all together. There were a total of 18 attempts between the third and fourth quarters and the Toppers scored eight.
The Cardinals took a three point lead in the third quarter and that stuck throughout the remainder of the game. They posted 17 points in the third and 14 in the fourth; the Toppers had 12 in both quarters.
At the end of the game, Ross led the team in points scored with 14 from four doubles, one triple and he was three for six at the foul line.
Petersen followed with ten points from four doubles and two free throws. Hierlmeier had eight from two double and four free throws. Mrdutt had six from three doubles. Kadinger had five from one triple and one double. And Wallace finished with one three.
The Toppers advanced their conference record to 3-6 after they beat the Bulldogs Monday night by just a mere four points in the 47-43 final.
The game started off evenly matched with the Toppers scoring nine points in the first quarter after buckets from Mrdutt, Hierlmeier, Kadinger and Petersen. The Bulldogs posted nine points as well to tie the game.
The Toppers got their break in the second quarter after they posted 14 points against the Bulldog’s eight, which gave them their first lead of 23-17. Ross and Wallace hit the team’s first threes of the game as well.
The Bulldogs came out firing in the second half as they had their best game in the third quarter with 14 points scored, however the Toppers posted 14 of their own to keep a six point lead of 37-31.
Mrdutt started things off in the final quarter with a pair of free throws being made in the first minute, which gave the Toppers their biggest lead of the game at 39-31.
The lead slipped away however after the Bulldogs ran up nine unanswered points against the Toppers in nearly five minutes.
The nine points were scored after Jake McIntyre drained two consecutive threes for the Bulldogs, which tied the score at 39. They then took a one point lead after Brady Schutts hit a free throw.
After letting their lead slip, a light bulb seemed to turn on and the Toppers powered through on offense and scored three consecutive baskets. Kadinger bounced a 15-footer off the glass for two.
Then Petersen followed with an inside shot. After that the team got a steal and Ross got his hands on the ball and drained the lay-up to put the score at 45-40.
The Toppers would foul Schutts yet again in the final minute of the game and he would put down the Bulldogs last three points to put the score at 45-43.
With less than 20 seconds on the clock, Hierlmeier himself was fouled and brought to the line where he drained both his shots to seal the Toppers win.
As a team, the Toppers had their best game from the line with 15 free throws made out of 17 attempts. Hierlmeier was 100 percent with seven out of seven shots made. Kadinger and Mrdutt were both 100 percent as well, going four for four.
Ross finished with the team high in points with 11 from four doubles and one triple. Kadinger followed with ten from the four free throws and three doubles. Next was Hierlmeier with nine from seven free throws and one double. Mrdutt had eight from four free throws and two doubles. Petersen was six from three doubles and Wallace had one triple.
The Toppers were back on the court Tuesday (Jan. 21) for a contest against Mondovi. They will be back at home this Friday to host the conference leading team, Elk Mound.