Hilltopper boys rally to sweep Bulldogs

BOYCEVILLE — The Glenwood City boys’ basketball team traveled east down Highway 170 to Boyceville last Thursday for what was quite the exciting game that ended in a Toppers’ 39-34 victory over the Bulldogs.

The nail-biter of a game was clinched through the help of Glenwood City senior Kip Wallace who made several timely three-point shots – four to be exact – with the most crucial made at the end.

Wallace canned his final trey with just over a minute to play to break a 32-32 deadlock and give the Hilltoppers boys’ basketball team a lead it would not relinquish.

Mitch Leach, who lead the Bulldogs with 14 points including six in the final quarter, hit a 12-foot jumper to pull Boyceville to within a point with jut over 40 seconds to play.

But yet another Glenwood City senior, Jake Hierlmeier, sank four straight one-and-one free throw opportunities including two with 3.6 seconds left in the game to seal a 39-34 Hilltoppers’ hardwood victory at the Dog House.

Hierlmeier and Wallace, who both lead Glenwood City with 14 points, helped rally the Hilltoppers from a first-half deficit for the win and regular season sweep of the Bulldogs.

The Hilltoppers improved to 6-6 in the Dunn-St. Croix boys’ basketball standings, the first time they have been at .500 in conference play this season, and 12-8 overall. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs slipped to 3-8 in conference and 8-11 in all.

Both teams struggled offensively in the game but the action did heat up in the final stanza as Glenwood City tied the contest and then took the lead four separate times only to have Boyceville respond with a game-tying score.

That was until Wallace’s fourth and final three gave Glenwood City a 35-32 advantage. Leach’s inside-the-paint turnaround basket pulled Boyceville to within a point at 35-34.

But Jake Hierlmeier’s clutch free throw shooting spelled defeat for the Bulldogs.

With 15.6 seconds left on the game clock, Hierlmeier sank the first pair of his four fourth-quarter charity tosses to give Glenwood City a 37-34 lead.

After a Boyceville timeout at 13.6 seconds, Hierlmeier picked off a pass while Boyceville was trying to set up a game-tying shot and was fouled with just under four seconds remaining in the game. His final two free throws tickled the twine and secured the five-point Topper win.

In the first quarter, the Toppers trailed 7-1 at one point after Brady Schutts drove to the hoop for two and then knocked down a free throw. Brett Boda also put up a double and so did Leach to start the quarter with a 7-4 lead over the Toppers.

Todd Petersen put the Toppers on the board first with a free throw and then Wallace drained the first of his four triples.

The second quarter was a wash between the two teams as they posted 14 points a piece, which had the Toppers trailing 21-18 at the half time break.

The Bulldogs shared the ball throughout the roster with two doubles from Leach, one and a free throw each from Boda and Hunter Anderson and then Jake McIntyre and Schutts banked one of the glass each.

Wallace led on the court for the Toppers with a triple, then two free throws and another trey for eight of their 14 points. Hierlmeier, Petersen and Marcus Kadinger backed him up with a shot from inside for two each.

Out of the half, Hierlmeier positioned himself outside of the arc perfectly for two treys, which gave the Toppers the edge they needed.

Kadinger and Petersen worked inside for a basket each and that brought the game to a tie of 28-28 going into the final eight minutes.

Schutts came out of the break with a double and two free throws made and then Leach scored a basket for two and Tyler Draeger made his first shot, which was a free throw.

In the final minutes of play, the Toppers finished ahead of the game with 11 points posted against the Bulldog’s six for the win.

Hierlmeier had a double to start and then made those four free throws. Wallace had his three-pointer and Petersen put up a double.

Leach was the only shooter for the Bulldogs in the last quarter with three shots hammered in for six points.

Leach finished the night with seven doubles. Schutts followed with three doubles and three free throws for nine points. Boda had his two doubles and one free throw for five. Anderson had one double and one free throw, McIntyre had the one shots and Draeger had the one free throw.

On the Topper team, Hierlmeier had his 14 points from the two doubles, two triples and four free throws. Wallace finished with 14 from four triples and two free throws.

Petersen followed with seven from his three doubles and one free throw and Kadinger had two doubles for four.

The Toppers have a pair of conference games remaining on their regular season schedule. Last night (Feb. 17), Glenwood City hosted Colfax and will finish this Friday, February 20 in Elk Mound.

Boyceville has three games remaining on its schedule. The Bulldogs played Tuesday (Feb. 17) in Mondovi. They will then be home on Friday, Feb. 20 to host Plum City/Elmwood and will finish the regular season at St. Croix Central on Thursday, February 26.