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Toppers beat Colfax first time in 5 years; victorious over Spooner and Frederic

By Kelsie Hoitomt

The Glenwood City boys’ basketball team had a busy week with a game in Spooner last Monday, February 3. They were then on the road again last Friday to Colfax and they wrapped the week of play up in Frederic on Saturday.

 Overtime win in Colfax

The most excitement of the week came in Colfax after the game went into overtime and the Toppers out performed the Vikings and won by seven points in a 69-62 final.

The Hilltoppers have lost twice a year to the Vikings since the 2008-2009 basketball season.

That season the Toppers played their first game of the year against the Vikings and lost 53-48, which started their five year slump until last Friday.

The Vikings are currently the number three team in the conference behind Elk Mound and Mondovi. Their loss put their record at 9-4 and bumped the Hilltopper’s up to 5-8.

Almost seven minutes went by in the first quarter before the Toppers even scored a point, but Todd Petersen managed to hit a basket and a free throw, which put the score at 13-3 to start the game.

“It wasn’t exactly the start we wanted, but Colfax is a good team and they came out with some hot shooting. I wasn’t too worried and told the kids to just follow our game plan by playing tight defense,” explained coach Tristan Kittilson.

The Toppers made up for their mundane first quarter performance in the second with 16 points scored against the Vikings’ nine for a half-time score of 22-19.

12 of the Toppers’ 16 points were scored on three-point baskets with one each from Nick Mrdutt, Kip Wallace, Richard Ross and Marcus Kadinger.

Out of the locker room, the Toppers were hot on the ball with 19 points scored including three more treys from Mrdutt, Ross and Kadinger.

Petersen worked his magic on the inside and took a shot off the glass, which tied the game at 26-26. He was then fouled and scored one free throw for the Topper’s first lead of 27-26.

The Toppers maintained a lead in the fourth quarter as they were up by five points with five minutes left to play and then up by four with a minute left.

It was then the Vikings’ Ethin Kiekhafer who drove the ball to the hoop for a double with ten seconds left on the clock to tie the game.

The Toppers dominated in overtime from the start as they took a nine point lead 59-50 after Ross knocked down a deuce and Kadinger hit a triple and four free throws.

The Vikings were able to score points, but fouls had to be made in order to put the ball in their hands. However, the Toppers were outstanding from the line in the final minutes, which led them to victory.

The Toppers finished the game with 14 free throws made out of 17 in the overtime minutes alone. There were 29 attempts in the entire game and they were successful with 21 of them.

“Todd played a solid game all night and Nick’s energy was just ridiculous the whole game. He was all over the court,” said Kittilson. “We didn’t panic when Colfax tied it to go into overtime. We hit clutch free throws at the end to earn a hard fought win.”

Petersen had one of his best performances of the season with 20 points scored from six doubles and he was eight for 11 at the foul line.

Following him was Kadinger who knocked down a total of three triples, two doubles and five free throws for 18 points.

Mrdutt finished with 12 from two triples, two doubles and two free throws. Ross had eight from two triples and one double. Jake Hierlmeier had six points after shooting six out of seven free throws and Wallace had five from one triple and one double.

Victory Up North 

To say the game against the Spooner Rails was close is a definite understatement as the Toppers managed to squeeze out the victory by one point in the 48-47 final.

It took two full quarters before a team emerged with a lead, which ended up being the Rails. The score was tied at 10-10 after the first and again at 21-21 going into the half time break.

Petersen was the main shooter for the Toppers in the first quarter with the eight points scored from his impressive foot work under the net that led to four doubles. Mrdutt had the other bucket.

The 11 points scored in the second quarter were all across the roster. Mrdutt had another double and Ross posted two of his own. Hierlmeier, Wallace and Petersen contributed the rest of the points from free throws.

After the break, the Rails managed to score one more basket than the Toppers which gave them a two point lead of 36-34 in the third quarter.

The Toppers’ 13 points in the third were made by three treys from Ross and a double by both Mrdutt and Kadinger.

The fourth quarter was the nail-biter as the teams battled back and forth for the win. The Toppers outscored the Rails by three points despite going three for six at the free throw line.

Hierlmeier drained a trey to make up for the missed foul shots and Mrdutt, Ross and Petersen each had a double to give their team the W.

It was Ross who led the team in points scored with 15 from his three triples and three doubles. Petersen followed with 13 from five doubles and he was three for four at the line.

Mrdutt was next with ten points from five doubles. Hierlmeier had five from one three and he was two for two at the line. Kadinger had one double and he was two for two at the line as well for four points and Wallace had one free throw.

Win over Frederic

The Toppers finished their reign on the road this past Saturday with an afternoon game against the Frederic Vikings, which ended with a 61-52 final.

The Toppers were ahead by four points after the first quarter, 17-13 but their slight lead didn’t last as the Vikings were ahead 30-26 going into break.

After scoring nine points in the second quarter, the Toppers came out refreshed in the third quarter and posted 16 points against the Vikings’ four. That was enough to give them cushion in their lead as the score was 42-24 going into the fourth.

The Vikings nearly outscored the Toppers in the final eight minutes, but their lead in the fourth carried them through to the end. They posted 19 points in the fourth and the Vikings finished with 18.

Hierlmeier was the shining star for the Hilltoppers as he had one of his best offensive games with 23 points posted from an impressive five triples. He was 100 percent from the foul line with six baskets made and he also had one deuce.

Kadinger had a strong game as well with 16 points from six doubles, one triple and one free throw.

Petersen followed with another great game from inside as well with six doubles of his own and he was two for two from the line.

Ross finished with five points from three free throws and one double and Mrdutt had one free throw and one double for three points.

The Toppers will be back on the court this Thursday (Feb. 13) for a game at home against Boyceville. They will then play a make-up game against Clear Lake on Saturday at home at 7:30 p.m.