Topper boys play with true grit and heart at Holiday Tourney

By Kelsie Hoitomt

GLENWOOD CITY — The Glenwood City boys basketball team played two games this past week at the Holiday Tournament with one against the Osceola Chieftains on Monday and then another Tuesday against the Somerset Spartans.

The Toppers won by just three points in their game against the Chieftains. They had a slight lead throughout the first three quarters, but they nearly gave up the win in the final minutes.

The game started with the Toppers up 9-7 in the first quarter.

Todd Petersen drove in the first basket and then Jake Hierlmeier followed with two triples. He shot a free throw with 37 seconds left for the two point lead.

The first basket scored in the second quarter didn’t fall until two and half minutes in. The Chieftains scored and were fouled and then were fouled again, which put them in the lead by a point.

The whistle blew after every basket attempt it seemed as the referees were relentless in their calls.

Kip Wallace, Nick Schone, Petersen, Joel Ormson and Tyler Woodruff all took shots from the foul line before the half time break, which counted for seven of their 12 points posted in the quarter.

There were 12 total free throw shots taken in the second quarter alone for the Toppers with only two other baskets made, which were a double from Petersen and a triple from Wallace. That put the half time score at 21-14.

Out of the break, Petersen was a machine on the court. He took four shots from nearly every angle that put the Toppers up by nine points.

He drove in a double in two doubles, took a jump shot and then drained a three all within the opening minutes.

Petersen was in fact the only player to put points on the board in the entire third quarter. He finished with one final double for 11 total points.

The Chieftains scored another seven points, which put the Toppers ahead 32-21.

The Toppers’ game hit an abrupt stop in the fourth quarter however. After being up 11 points, they nearly lost the game after they allowed the Chieftains to score ten unanswered points.

Turnovers were a problem and that put the ball in the wrong hoop. The Chieftains trailed by 11, but soon that changed to four and then back up to six.

The scores jogged back and forth, but the Toppers managed to keep the ball in their hands and run the clock.

The crucial play came near the end when Petersen made a three point attempt, but it bounced off the rim and the Chieftains stormed down the court and to their own net.

However the shot was missed and Marcus Kadinger scooped up the rebound. That play kept the score at 36-34 with 55 seconds left to play.

Petersen was fouled a final time and he made one basket, which put the score at its final 37-34.

Petersen led the team in points with 19 from his seven doubles and one triple. He made two out of ten free throws as well.

Hierlmeier and Wallace followed with seven each; Hierlmeier had two triples and one free throw and Wallace had four free throws and one triple.

Schone finished with two free throws in the second quarter and then Woodruff had one free throw in the second as well.

Victory is sweet 

The game of the week and one for the highlight reel was Tuesday night when the Toppers played against Somerset.

They trailed by 18 points going into the half, but blew up the court in the third quarter with 24 points scored.

That put them down by four points, which they scored plus three more ahead of the Spartans and that was enough for them to win by three in the 58-55 comeback final.

The Spartans finished 13-1 in their Middle Border Conference last year with a stack of seniors on their team.

This season they are sitting at a big goose egg with an 0-4 record so far and 1-5 overall after getting their first win Monday night in Glenwood City against Cornell.

The Spartans were on a tear for this Holiday Tournament. They came off their win against Cornell and started off with a 15-6 lead over the Toppers.

The Toppers were clearly not ready for the aggressive game Somerset was bringing as they continued to play a lackluster offense into the second quarter.

The Spartans posted 16 additional points before the half against the Topper’s seven, which resulted in that 31-13 lead.

Some serious adjustments were apparently made during the half time break considering the fact that an entirely different Topper team stepped out on the court.

They went from scoring just 13 points in the first half to posting 24 in the third quarter alone and then a final 21 in the fourth.

Kadinger who had been quiet on the court the previous night, went off in the third quarter with three doubles scored, followed by a free throw shot, which missed but he redeemed himself with another shot under the hoop followed by two free throws.

He finished the night with ten total attempts at the foul line and he only had two personal fouls against him, which was a big improvement after having four strikes on his name by the third quarter on Monday night.

It came down to free throw accuracy in the fourth quarter and the Toppers prevailed. The Spartans were on the board with three triples and a double, but they only made three out of eight foul shots.

As for the Toppers, they had 14 attempts from the line and made nine of them by Bill Norenberg, Wallace, Kadinger, Petersen and Ormson.

Kadinger led the team in points with 20 scored in the second half from his baskets in the third and then he finished with two doubles, a triple and three free throws in the fourth.

Hierlmeier followed with 16 from his six free throws, two triples and two doubles. Then it was Wallace with 12 from his five free throws, two doubles and one triple.

Petersen and Norenberg each had four points from a double and two free throws. And then Ormson finished with his two free throws.

The Toppers were back in action Monday (Jan. 5) with a home game against Spooner. They traveled to Spring Valley Tuesday and then they will be back home for the border battle against Boyceville on Friday, January 9.