By Kelsie Hoitomt
The Glenwood City boys basketball team opened their season with a game at home last Tuesday against conference competitors, the Mondovi Buffaloes.
The Toppers lost by three in the 49-46 final, but for their first game, they played very well despite the loss.
They attempted to take their first win on Friday night, but they were defeated in the long run by Plum City/Elmwood with that final score at 61-52.
Home against Mondovi
The Toppers kept the game fairly clean with only four foul shots taken by Mondovi in the first half.
That number tripled in the second half, but in order to get the ball back in their possession in the fourth quarter, the Toppers needed to commit fouls.
The game could have easily gone the other direction, but the shots were not in the Toppers’ favor with countless attempts either hitting the rim or bouncing in and out of the hoop.
The Toppers only trailed by one point in the fairly slow offensive first quarter. They posted eight points against Mondovi’s nine with Todd Petersen, Marcus Kadinger, Kip Wallace and Jake Hierlmeier each shooting a double.
The second quarter was a completely different ball game. The Buffaloes turned up their momentum and began to play aggressively on both sides of the ball.
They scored 11 points before the Toppers finally put a shot in, which was a three by Wallace that put the score at 11-20 with just under three minutes left to play in the half.
Mondovi’s Greg Poeschel landed three triples in the quarter alone to give the Buffaloes the push they needed to take a 24-14 lead at the half.
Hierlmeier let go of the ball near mid court as the buzzer rang for the team’s second basket and final three points of the quarter.
Out of the half, Mondovi continued with their fast tempo, which put four points on the board within the first minute.
Kadinger managed to drive a shot to the basket for the Toppers’ first score of the third quarter. Hierlmeier followed with two back to back three point shots with under five minutes to play.
With less than two minutes on the clock, the Toppers were trailing 22-33 with the majority of their time spent on defense.
They scored ten points in the third quarter with eight coming from Hierlmeier after he drained two free throws.
Mondovi put up 11 points of their own for a 35-24 lead going into the final eight minutes of play.
The fourth quarter started with Petersen driving in the first basket. He was fouled along the way and was brought to the line for one free throw. He made the basket for three team points.
Four minutes later, he was fouled again and scored both shots, which brought the game to within five points, 34-39.
The Toppers were applying good pressure defensively, but Buffaloes were still able to get shots off to keep their lead.
The clock began to dwindle down in time so more fouls needed to be called on the Toppers in order to get the ball back, which put the score at 34-41.
Hierlmeier landed a three to put the score back within five and then he was scored a double and was fouled on the trip in for a 40-45 deficit.
Every time they scored, Mondovi answered back. Kadinger hit at the three from the top of the arc to put the team down by four and then Hierlmeier landed one as the buzzer rang for the 49-46 final.
Hierlmeier kept the team in the game with 22 points scored for the Toppers from his five triples, two doubles and he was perfect at the line, going three for three.
Petersen followed with nine points from three doubles and three free throws. Kadinger finished with seven from two doubles and one triple. Wallace had five points from his one triple and one double and Nathan Mrdutt had one double and a free throw for three.
Road trip to PC
Against the Plum City/Elmwood Wolves co-op, the Toppers started out strong with 14 points scored in the first quarter for a tied ball game.
They fell behind in the second quarter by just three points as the Wolves outscored them 15 to 12.
Those three points turned into six points when they finished the second half with 11 points scored against the Wolves’ 14 for a 37-43 score going into the final eight minutes.
That three point deficit in the quarter was a constant as the fourth quarter ended with the Toppers trailing in points 15-18 for the nine point difference in the final score of 61-52.
“We again were plagued by too many turnovers and poor shooting. They again made the shots down the stretch and we did not. They (Toppers) played very hard and did a lot of nice things at times, but still trying to work on those wrinkles and execute better,” explained coach Tristan Kittilson.
On the court, Petersen and Kadinger led in points scored for their team with 13 each. Hierlmeier followed with 12, Wallace had seven, Tyler Woodruff had three, Mrdutt had two and Norenberg and Allen Croes each had a free throw.
The Toppers were in Clear Lake on Tuesday night (Dec. 16) and then they will be back home this Thursday, December 18 against St. Croix Central.