Moving back to Division 4 for tournament play after a year spent in Division 3, the Elk Mound girls had a pretty easy time in their first round of regionals with a 65-36 win at home over Elmwood-Plum City Feb. 24. Traveling a few miles up the road three days later, the Mounders faced the defending sectional champions Eau Claire Regis Ramblers. After holding a seven point advantage at one point, the Mounders couldn’t hold on and dropped the contest 36-27, putting an end to their season.
Elk Mound had defeated the Wolves twice during the regular season but only by 10 points the second time around so it wasn’t a game they could afford to overlook. After leading by six points at the half, 31-25, the Mounder defense came out strong in the second half as they held E-PC to five third quarter points while coming up with 13 on five each from Elizabeth Fasbender and Sarah Winchester while Kami King nailed a trey, allowing them to hold a 44-30 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
Fasbender came up big from the foul line in the final stanza, canning six of six freebies to go with three deuces from McKenna McVey, two buckets and a free toss by Maddie Jenson which were her first varsity points, and a deuce apiece from King and Megan Krall. Meanwhile, the defense continued to stifle the Wolves, holding them to six points to finish off the 29 point win.
“We played a solid game, attacking their zone aggressively and playing strong inside,” coach Jordan Kongshaug said. “We struggled defensively in the first half but played a lot better in the second half.”
Fasbender and McVey combined for 39 of the team points as McVey finished with 22 and Fasbender 17. The Mounders were 18 of 26 from the charity stripe with Fasbender hitting 11 of 13. E-PC was 11 for 16 at the foul line for the night.
ELK MOUND (65) McVey 9-4-6-22, Fasbender 3-11-13-17, King 3-1-1-8, A. Weber 2-1-3-6, Winchester 2-0-2-5, Jenson 2-1-1-5, Krall 1-0-0-2
ELMWOOD-PLUM CITY (36) J. Helmueller4-0-0-8, S. Hall 2-2-2-7, T. Chilson 2-3-4-7, K. Lee 2-0-0-4, C. Catura 2-0-0-4, E. Hoyt 0-2-2-4, J. Weix 0-2-2-4, R. Kernstock 0-1-2-1, A. Morrell 0-1-4-1
THREE POINTERS: Weber 1, Winchester 1, King 1, Hall 1
Eau Claire Regis
Fans around the area all know the Ramblers are always a highly competitive team and this year’s team was no different. With a pair of college bound players including junior Shae Brey who already has committed to a Division 1 school and senior Haley Gibbons, Regis, ranked number 10 in the state, carried an 18-5 record into the game with one of those wins over number 4 ranked Fall Creek. Elk Mound was 16-7 and also had a key win under their belts against state ranked La Crosse Aquinas.
It was a defensive battle all game and points were hard to come by for both teams in this contest. Four different players scored for the Mounders in the first quarter including Allie Weber with a triple and Winchester, King and McVey all hitting a deuce but they were down 10-9. Their stifling defense held Regis to just three second quarter points with Brey being shut out, and with Weber draining another trey and McVey scoring from close range, the Mounders went into the intermission up by a point at 14-13.
Elk Mound came out of the locker room on fire as they scored seven straight points for a 21- 13 lead. But the lead began slipping away when the Ramblers stepped up their intensity on both sides of the court. Although King came up with five points in the quarter on a triple and a deuce, McVey scored on a bucket and a free toss, Winchester added two points from the paint and Fasbender hit a free throw, Elk Mound was up just 25-23 heading into the final stanza.
Things went downhill quickly for the Mounders from there as they struggled to score with McVey hitting the only points of the quarter for them on a deuce. Meanwhile, Brey rattled off nine of her game high 14 points in the final eight minutes to help the Ramblers pull away for the win.
“I thought we played well on the defensive end,” coach Kongshaug said. “We just couldn’t get enough shots to fall. The girls battled all night and I am proud of the effort they gave. We made a lot of progress this season and I am happy with that,” he added.
McVey led the Mounders with nine points as the team was two of six from the foul line. Regis wasn’t at the line much themselves, knocking down five of eight attempts. Elk Mound ended the season with a 16-8 record, finished second in the conference at 12-2.
EAU CLAIRE REGIS (36) Brey 5-3-4-14, Haley Gibbons 4-1-2-9, H. Anderson 4-0-0-8, Hannah Gibbons 2-1-1-5
ELK MOUND (27) McVey 4-1-4-9, King 3-0-0-7, Weber 2-0-0-6, Winchester 2-0-0-4, Fasbender 0-1-2-1
THREE POINTERS: Weber 2, King 1, Brey 1