Elk Mound girls gear up for playoffs with wins over St. Croix Central, Glenwood City

After an unexpected long layoff due to the postponement of a pair of games the previous week, the Elk Mound girls’ basketball team came home from Hammond with a 62-27 win in a makeup game over St. Croix Central Feb. 24, then hoping to carry some momentum into playoffs, took a 61-47 win at home over Glenwood City Feb. 27.

St. Croix Central

“We played one of our best games of the season,” Elk Mound coach Jordan Kongshaug said after the win over the Panthers. “We came out with a great effort and great energy.”

That was certainly indicated as the Mounders jumped out to a 19-9 first quarter lead as Elizabeth Fasbender came up with 10 of those points on three deuces, a free throw and a triple while Kami King added a trey and a shot from close range and McKenna McVey dropped in a pair of buckets.

Elk Mound doubled the lead at the half, 34-17 as Jamie Solem, Mattie Pitts and Sarah Winchester contributed in the scoring column, and Fasbender was unstoppable in the third stanza as she came up with nine of her career high 23 points for the game to help the Mounders up the lead to 56-19 heading into the final quarter. Solem and King tacked on two more points each as did Riley Radtke for her first varsity points to finish out the game.

“Every coach wants to be playing their best at this time of the year and I think we are doing that right now,” Kongshaug said.

ELK MOUND (62) Fasbender 8-2-2-23, King 6-0-1-13, MvVey 4-0-2-8, Winchester 3-0-0-7, Pitts 2-0-0-5, Solem 2-0-0-4, Radtke 1-0-0-2

ST. CROIX CENTRAL (27) L. Mall 1-4-9-6, E. Landry 3-0-0-6, M. Lohnson 2-1-2-5, K. Pabst 2-1-2-5, B. Kopacz 1-1-2-3, X. Vandusartz 1-0-0-2

THREE POINTERS: Fasbender 1, Winchester 1, King 1, Pitts 1

Glenwood City

Coach Kongshaug may be right as four of his players scored in double figures and the team knocked down nine triples while shooting 16 for 26 from the foul line in the win over the Hilltoppers. Glenwood had played one of their best games of the season in a win over Mondovi five days earlier and were a game ahead of the Mounders in conference play. But the Mounders were on fire early as four different players canned treys in the first quarter starting with Pitts, followed by Winchester, King and Fasbender, and adding three close range shots from McVey, Elk Mound was up 18-10 after the first quarter. King added her second triple in the second stanza and using their motion offense, the Mounders were moving the ball and going to the hole quite effectively. Three players ended up at the foul line as Fasbender and McVey both hit a pair of freebies and Winchester was 1 for 2 as the Mounders took a 26-20 lead into the break.

“We were really moving the ball well and finding open players,” Kongshaug said. “And it really helped when we hit some big shots.”

The Toppers must have had a good pep talk from their coach during the intermission since they came out in a shooting mode and cut the Mounders lead to 28-26 before Pitts drained another triple. A three pointer by Jen Kopacz and two free throws from Maya Petersen shaved the Mounder lead to two again at 35-33 but Winchester came up huge with her second trey, and not to be outdone, King followed suit for a little cushion and a 41-33 lead. The Toppers hit back to back buckets off of fast break layups to cut the Mounder lead to four but Danae Sternecker dropped in a buzzer beater in the lane for a 44-37 Elk Mound lead heading into the final quarter.

“I told the girls to continue to be aggressive on both ends after Glenwood made their run,” Kongshaug said. “We had some defensive lapses and gave up some fast break layups but we weathered the storm with our solid shooting.”

With both teams using full court pressure most of the game, the Toppers seemed to wear down a bit as they missed some open shots and began fouling. With one of the Mounders’ weak spots this year being their free throw shooting, on this night they made them when it counted, going 10 for 18 in the quarter to help build a 14 point lead and finish off the win.

Fasbender and Winchester led the Mounders with 15 points each and King and McVey both collected 10.

Moving into the Division 3 WIAA playoffs, Elk Mound will host Mauston in a first round regional game March 4, and if they win will travel to play highly ranked Neillsville.

“We know Mauston has a very good player who is going to play college ball so we will have to shut her down and hope we continue to play at the level we have been at as of late,” Kongshaug concluded.

ELK MOUND (61) Fasbender 4-6-10-15, Winchester 3-6-8-15, King 3-1-2-10, McVey 4-2-2-10, Pitts 2-0-0-6, Sternecker 2-0-1-4, Solem 0-1-3-1

GLENWOOD CITY (47) Kopacz 4-6-7-15, R. Klatt-0-2-10, M. Samens 4-0-0-8, K. Knops 1-2-2-4, M. Kadinger 1-2-6-4, Petersen 1-2-2-4, M. Kuehndorf 1-0-0-2

THREE POINTERS: Winchester 3, King 3, Pitts 2, Fasbender 1, Kopacz 1