By Kelsie Hoitomt
ELK MOUND – The Glenwood City girls’ basketball team may have lost their final Dunn-St. Croix Conference game 61-47 to Elk Mound last Thursday night, but the Toppers were victorious as a team after finishing with their first winning season since 2005-2006.
The Toppers finished at an even .500 last year with an 8-8 record, which was technically a “winning” season, but this year there was no deciphering needed.
The Toppers finished strong with a 10-5 record in the D-SC, which tied them for third with Elk Mound and put them behind Colfax (1) and Mondovi (2).
A pat on the back was also deserved by the Toppers after they won seven straight games before losing to the Mounders 61-47.
The game started with the Mounders up by eight with the first quarter score at 18-10. Rachel Klatt knocked in three doubles and Megan Samens and Kristie Knops each had one to get the Toppers on the board.
The Hilltoppers’ offense was consistent in the second quarter as well with ten additional points scored including two more doubles by Klatt and one each from Samens, Maya Petersen and Jen Kopacz.
The Mounders fell short in their shooting and posted ten less points in the second, which put the Toppers down by just six points (26-20) going into the half time break.
The Toppers rallied back in the third quarter and were down by two points after Knops and Kopacz each hit two free throws for a 28-26 score.
The Mounders pushed their score ahead to 32-26, but a layup by Morgan Kadinger, a three by Kopacz and two free throws from Petersen brought the score to within two points again.
The Toppers posted 17 points in the third against the Mounder’s 18 for a 44-37 score going into the final quarter.
There were ten fouls called halfway through the fourth quarter and the Mounders were able to pull ahead after scoring 17 points, ten of which were free throws.
The game ended with the Toppers scoring ten points in the fourth. Kopacz had four free throws and a double for six points of her own. Kadinger also had two free throws and Moriah Kuehndorf shot a double.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump after falling behind and Elk Mound hit too many big shots and free throws. But our defense kept after them all game and I hope we can play like that in the tournament,” said coach Justin Kuehndorf.
Kopacz led the team in points against the Mounders with 15 from her six free throws, three doubles and one triple.
Klatt followed with ten from five doubles. Samens had eight from four doubles. Knops, Petersen and Kadinger each finished with four points from one double and two free throws and Kuehndorf had her one deuce.
The Toppers wrapped up their regular season last Thursday night and were back on the court Tuesday (Mar. 3) for their first Regional game, which was in Glenwood City against Osseo-Fairchild.
The winner of that game will go on to play a road game against Eau Claire Regis on Friday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m.