The Elk Mound boys made it 34 conference wins in a row with a 58-43 home win over St. Croix Central Dec. 9, then traveled to Spring Valley for a Friday night game and had that streak broken when they lost 42-33 to the Cardinals.
St. Croix Central
Justin Erpenbach has been the hot shooter for the Mounders so far this season and after a career high 20 point performance in the first game of the season, Erpenbach bested that performance with 29 against the Panthers with 12 of those points coming in the opening quarter as the Mounders held a 20-13 advantage. All of the second quarter points for Elk Mound came by way of three point land with Cole Tyman draining a pair of triples and Brandon Bohl and Erpenbach both hitting one to give them a 32-21 halftime lead.
After playing pretty even with the Panthers in the third quarter, outscoring them 15-14, the Mounders used the free throw line in the fourth to maintain their double digit lead. Erpenbach was six for six while adding a shot from close range, Alex Hollister knocked down one of two free tosses and Elliot Johnson added a bucket to finish off the 15 point victory.
“We did a nice job of moving the ball tonight and finding the open man,” coach Chris Hahn said. “Hollister was able to get his teammates a lot of open shots by getting his feet in the paint. Erpenbach’s shot selection was great and he understood when to attack the basket while making great reads on which direction to attack.We have a lot of work to do on the defensive side, however.”
Elk Mound connected on 14 of 21 free throws with Erpenbach hitting 11 of 12 while the Panthers were nine for 10.
ELK MOUND (58) Erpenbach 7-11-12-29, Tyman 3-0-0-8, Hollister 2-1-3-6, N. Zurbuchen 2-1-2-6, Bohl 1-1-2-4, C. Svee 1-0-2-3, Johnson 1-0-0-2
ST. CROIX CENTRAL (43) J. Matteson 6-2-3-14, C. Lyksett 1-6-6-8. T. Anderson 3-0-0-8, E. Neilson 2-0-0-6, J. Freyholtz 2-1-2-5, J. Albright 1-0-0-2
THREE POINTERS: Tyman 2, Erpenbach 2, Neilson 2, Anderson 2, Hollister 1, Svee 1, Zurbuchen 1, Bohl 1
The Mounders held a couple of early leads, 4-2 on buckets by Bohl and Erpenbach, and at 6-5 when Hollister connected from the paint, but the Cardinals went on a six point run for an 11-6 lead before Erpenbach drained a pair of free throws to cut the Mounder deficit to 11-8 at the end of the quarter.
With Tyman out with an illness and a few others not feeling well, the Mounders had trouble getting the ball in the basket as Erpenbach was the only one to tally any second quarter points. That happened to be a deuce within the first minute which brought the Mounders closer, down just 11-10, but the Cardinals managed to score the next six points and held a 17-10 lead at the intermission.
Spring Valley upped the lead to 23-10 before Erpenbach, who scored all of Elk Mound’s points in the third quarter, drained a triple. He added a deuce from underneath and dropped in a pair of free throws but Elk Mound went into the final quarter down 29-17.
Erpenbach again opened the quarter with points, another trey this time and the Mounders put a press on to force some turnovers. Erpenbach drove the lane twice for buckets, but since the Mounders had been called for only three fouls with 1:31 left in the game, they had to foul four more times to force the Cardinals to go to the free throw line. It took less then 30 seconds to draw the fouls but Spring Valley hit five free tosses to put the game away.
Erpenbach finished with 20 points to lead the Mounders who were four of six from the foul line while the Cardinals were eight of 15 at the line.
“We didn’t have much energy in the first quarter and it certainly showed in the score,” Hahn said. “When you only score 33 points you are not going to win many games.”
SPRING VALLEY (42) L. Olson 4-2-2-13, J. Helmer 6-0-1-12, S. Borgerding 4-4-6-12, S. Green 1-2-5-5
ELK MOUND (33) Erpenbach 7-4-6-20, B. Bohl 2-0-0-5, Hollister 2-0-0-4, Zurbuchen 1-1-2-4
THREE POINTERS: Olson 3, Bohl 1, Zurbuchen 1, Green 1