After hanging with the Middle Border Conference leading Durand Panthers through the first half, the Elk Mound girls struggled with their defense the second half and succumbed to the Durand Panthers 62-39 in Durand Jan. 19. But returning to Dunn-St. Croix Conference play, the Mounders came back with a vengeance against the Spring Valley Cardinals with a 61-27 win.
The Panthers are ranked fifth in Division 3 in the WBCA coaches poll with only one loss on the season, which could make things interesting next year when they move into the D-SC. The Mounders were down 19-12 at the end of a quarter of play and stayed within seven points at the half with McKenna McVey coming up with seven points on three deuces and a free throw, Allie Weber canned a pair of triples, Sarah Winchester scored six points from all over as she hit a shot from behind the arc, one from close range and another from the free throw line while Elizabeth Fasbender, Kami King and Waive Melgaard all had a two point basket but the Mounders were down 32-25 at the break.
The Panthers’ leading scorer Morganne Gruber, who already had 14 points in the first half, added six of Durand’s 22 points in the third quarter to help her team take the game over with a 54-32 lead. McVey, who plugs up the paint on the defensive side along with leading the conference in scoring with a 13 point average, went down with an ankle problem in the quarter and did not return to the game. The Mounders finished off their point total with Hannah Cedarblade scoring three points to go with two each by Megan Krall and Riley Radtke.
“It was a good game until halftime but we faced foul trouble and losing McKenna in the second half,” coach Jordan Kongshaug said. “Once we faced some adversity, we didn’t respond very well. Durand is a very good team and we have to learn how to play with good teams for four quarters,” he added.
McVey led the Mounders with nine points while Gruber scored a game high 20 for the Panthers. Elk Mound was four of 10 from the charity stripe and Durand was nine for nine.
DURAND (62) Gruber 9-1-1-20. W. Tomlinson 4-3-3-12, A. Schlosser 3-5-5-11, M. Koller 3-0-0-6, M. Radle 2-0-0-5, N. Berger 2-0-0-4, M. Wegener 1-0-0-2, S. Wekken 1-0-0-2
ELK MOUND (39) McVey 4-1-2-9, Winchester 3-1-2-8, Weber 2-0-0-6, Cedarblade 1-1-2-3, Radtke 1-0-0-2, King 1-0-0-2, Krall 1-0-2-2, Melgaard 1-0-0-2
THREE POINTERS: Weber 2, Winchester 1, Radle 1, Tomlinson 1, Gruber 1
The Cardinals are perched at the bottom of the conference with nary a win and have just one overall so far this season. McVey’s ankle appeared to be O.K. as she scored seven of the Mounders’ 21 first quarter points while King added eight to help them pull out to a 21-5 lead. The game was put away by halftime with six more players adding to the scoring column in the second quarter, making it 43-7. The pace slowed a bit in the second half as both teams came up with eight third quarter points to put the Mounders up 51-15 but the Cardinals actually outscored Elk Mound 12-10 in the fourth.
“I was pleased with our focus and energy level,” coach Kongshaug said. “We came out ready to play, jumped out to a big lead and didn’t let up.”
10 different Mounders put points up with King leading the way with 13, McVey collecting 11 and Cedarblade having a career high nine. Elk Mound was 11 for 16 from the foul line while the Cardinals were one of five.
ELK MOUND (61) King 6-0-0-13, McVey 5-1-3-11, Cedarblade 3-2-2-9, Fasbender 3-1-2-7, Winchester 2-0-0-6, Radtke 2-0-1-4, Melgaard 1-2-2-4, T. Deling 1-2-2-4, J. Sorenson 0-2-2-2,Weber 0-1-1-1
SPRING VALLEY (27) B. Fesenmaier 5-1-2-11, A. Lee 4-0-0-8, S. O’Brien 1-0-2-2, J. Dieckman 1-0-0-2, K. Rustad 1-0-0-2
THREE POINTERS: Winchester 2, Cedarblade 1, King 1