By Kelsie Hoitomt
The Glenwood City boys’ basketball team sealed their trip to the second round of Regionals after beating the Colfax Vikings 47-43 last Tuesday, February 25.
Their win advanced them to Friday night’s game against the number one seeded team, the Mondovi Buffaloes. The tournament season ended there as the Toppers lost 57-43.
Regional win in Colfax
The Vikings finished just one notch higher up than the Hilltoppers in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference rankings with a 9-8 record, which gave them the fourth seed ahead of the Toppers’ fifth seed.
The close ranked teams had a close scoring battle throughout the entire four quarters with the Toppers down by just one point as the scoreboard read 7-6 after the first.
It was the sole shooting ability of Jake Hierlmeier that put the Toppers on the board as he knocked in three buckets for the team’s first six points.
The Vikings posted 12 points against the Toppers’ 11 in the second quarter, which put the half time score at 19-17 in favor of Colfax.
Senior, Richard Ross drained the Toppers’ first three point shot of the game and followed that up with an inside shot off the glass. Marcus Kadinger also hit two deuces and Nick Mrdutt dropped in one.
After the break, the Toppers outscored the Vikings by one point in the third quarter, which put them behind by just one point going into the fourth quarter.
They posted ten points from five doubles including two from Todd Petersen for his first baskets of the game and then one a piece from Mrdutt, Ross and Kadinger.
It was a low scoring game with the scoreboard reading 28-27 in favor of the Vikings going into the final eight minutes.
The Toppers had yet to shoot a free throw in 24 minutes of play, but in the fourth quarter they drew their first fouls.
The Toppers sealed their victory with the help of their free throw shooting after they successfully made eight shots out of ten attempts and scored ten additional points for a total of 20 in the fourth quarter.
Hierlmeier was a machine in the final quarter with ten points scored for the Toppers from one triple, one double and went five for six from the free throw line.
Kadinger also knocked down a three and two free throws and Petersen had two doubles to help the Topper team bring home the win.
As a team, the Toppers scored 30 doubles, nine triples and eight free throws.
The Vikings ended the game with 15 points scored in the fourth quarter. Overall all they had 24 doubles, 12 triples and seven free throws.
Hierlmeier led the team in points scored with 16 from four deuces, one triple and five free throws. Kadinger followed with 11 from three deuces, one triple and two free throws.
Following them was Petersen with nine from four doubles and one free throw. Ross had seven from two doubles and one triple and Mrdutt had two doubles.
Loss in Mondovi
The Buffaloes were ranked number two in the D-SC behind the undefeated Elk Mound team, but since the Mounders were bumped up to Division 3, Mondovi became the number one seed.
This is the third time this season that the Toppers faced off against the Buffaloes, which ended in Mondovi’s favor all three times.
“It was a very physical and hard fought game,” said coach Tristan Kittilson. “The boys played their hearts out, but in the end we did not shoot well and missed a bunch of close baskets and giving up too many second chance points off of offensive rebounds proved to be too much.”
It was a dead even match to start off the game as both teams scored 13 points in the third quarter.
Mrdutt hit two deuces and a three, Hierlmeier had two doubles of his own and Petersen knocked in one to put the Toppers on the board.
A serious lack in points in the second quarter may have been the game changer for the Toppers as they scored just one basket, which was shot by Ross.
The Buffaloes scored 11 points of their own to take a lead of 24-15 at the half.
Adjustments were made in the locker room during the break and the Toppers came out determined, which showed in their 21-point performance in the third quarter.
The Toppers outscored the Buffaloes 21-17, which closed the gap in the score to five points as the scoreboard read 41-36 going into the fourth quarter.
The Toppers’ 21 points scored came from Ross who knocked in three more doubles, Hierlmeier had two treys, Kadinger had a trey of his own and a double, Petersen had a double and Mrdutt put down two free throws.
Both teams took their first foul shots in the third quarter of the game. Overall, it was a clean game defensively with just six foul shots taken on the Toppers’ side and eight on the Buffaloes’.
The game ended with the Buffaloes winning after they scored 16 points over the Hilltoppers’ seven for the 57-43 final.
The Toppers final points scored came from Hierlmeier who scored his third triple, Mrdutt who hit two additional free throws and Petersen who had one deuce.
Hierlmeier finished the game with the team high in points with 13 from his three triples and two doubles. Mrdutt followed with 11 from two doubles, one triple and he was four for six from the line.
Ross finished with four doubles for eight. Petersen had six from three doubles and Kadinger had one double and one triple.
The Toppers broke even this year with an 8-8 conference record and a 13-11 overall record. The last time the Hilltoppers had a record of .500 or above was in the 2009-10 season when they finished 10-6 and 13-8 overall.
The Toppers started off the 2013-14 with six straight losses, but they were able to bounce back and finish strong with nine consecutive wins before the road ended in Mondovi.