After a 56-45 loss in a non-conference game to Bloomer Feb. 23, the Elk Mound boys finished off the regular season with a 49-45 win over Dunn-St. Croix Conference opponent Mondovi on the road three days later.
The Mounders were up 15-8 after a quarter of play against the Blackhawks, who were sitting in the middle of the Heart O’ North Conference at 9-4 and 13-8 overall. Although the Elk Mound defense did their part by forcing Bloomer into 20 turnovers, the offense failed to convert those turnovers into points enough times to pull out a win.
It appears Chandler Schreiber and Ben Lambele are getting pretty comfortable in their varsity roles as the two of them combined for 25 of the Mounders’ points for the game. Elk Mound led 15-8 after the first quarter but fell behind 25-24 at the half. Schreiber came up with five points in the third quarter on a triple and a deuce, Dane Lew connected from behind the arc, Justin Erpenbach hit from the paint, Lambele canned a pair of free tosses and Alex Hollister and Brandon Bohl both added one freebie but the Mounders were down 31-21 heading into the last quarter. They were outscored 12-7 in the final eight minutes, resulting in the 11 point loss.
“Bloomer did a great job of making us uncomfortable on offense,” coach Chris Hahn said. “We didn’t react well to their defensive pressure, didn’t get a lot of clean looks at the basket and didn’t get many offensive rebounds.”
Schreiber continues to light up the score book, finishing with 15 points to lead the Mounders while Lambele added 10. Elk Mound was 10 of 14 from the charity stripe while Bloomer was 16 for 20.
BLOOMER (55) N. Price 5-4-4-17, D. Dachel 6-4-4-16, A. Zillmer 2-2-2-8, D. Score 3-1-1-7, W. Melberg 1-4-5-6, M. Post 0-2-2-4
ELK MOUND (45) Schreiber 5-2-3-15, Lambele 4-2-2-10, Lew 3-0-0-8, J. Erpenbach 2-2-3-6, Hollister 1-1-2-3, N. Zurbuchen 0-2-2-2, Bohl 0-1-2-1
Schreiber 3, Price 3, Lew 2, Zillmer 2, Score 1
The Mounders sure picked a fine time to come up with one of their better games of the year. The Buffaloes were contenders for a conference title a week earlier before they fell apart and lost to Colfax. This game was close throughout and was tied four times in the first stanza, the last time at 9-9 before Elk Mound took a four point lead on a Lew drive and his two free tosses. Lambele scored on a put back to give them a 15-11 lead after a quarter of play.
Schreiber came up with a steal and an end to end layup for a 17-11 advantage but post player Erpenbach drew his third foul on a charging call early in the second stanza, giving him a seat on the bench. Mondovi closed the gap to 21-18 and after the Mounders mis-fired on back to back three point attempts, Cole Tyman came up with a pair of huge triples including one just before the buzzer, allowing his team to go to the locker room with a 27-18 advantage.
The Buffaloes dug into that lead again however, as they went on a six point run to open the third quarter, prompting Hahn to call a time out. Schreiber and Lambele then teamed up for a steal, resulting in a Lambele bucket, and Schreiber came up with another swipe which led to Tyman draining his third trey of the game. Erpenbach continued to be aggressive in the paint, even with foul trouble and scored on back to back shots, allowing Elk Mound to hold a 36-28 advantage with a quarter left to play.
Hollister opened the final stanza with a deuce and a free toss but that was countered by Greg Poeschel’s trey. Schreiber knocked down a three point shot himself but Poeschel tried to get the Buffs back in the game on his own, connecting on three more shots from downtown, the fourth one knotting things up at 45-45 with 2:45 left in the game. Erpenbach hit one of two free tosses twice and Hollister added two more freebies for a four point lead with 39 seconds left and the Mounder defense wouldn’t allow Mondovi to get any more shots off before the buzzer sounded.
“We played a lot better tonight defensively and rebounded the ball very well,” Hahn said. “Hollister has become a great point guard for us and Tyman stepped up big on both sides of the ball and gave us a huge effort,” he added.
Tyman and Erpenbach led the Mounders with 11 points each as the team shot 13 of 20 from the foul line and Mondovi was just four of 11. The win gave the Mounders an 8-6 conference record, leaving them tied with Mondovi for second place. They are 9-13 overall and begin regional play in Division 3 this Tuesday at Neillsville.
ELK MOUND (49) Tyman 3-2-2-11, Erpenbach 4-3-6-11, Hollister 1-6-7-8, Lambele 4-0-1-8, Schreiber 3-0-0-7, Lew 1-2-2-4
MONDOVI (45) Poeschel 5-0-0-14, J. Ede 5-1-3-11, B. Purdy 3-2-3-8, H. Ford 2-0-1-5, C. Dregney 2-1-2-5, S. Hayes 1-0-0-2
THREE POINTERS: Poeschel 4, Tyman 3, Schreiber 1, Ford 1