Although the Elk Mound girls competed in Division 4 in WIAA tournament play this year, according to a new rule, the Mounder boys remained in D3 due to the fact they played in the WIAA state tournament last year. Things may have worked out O.K. for them as they took their 10-13 record and their number six seed down to Neillsville to take on the Warriors, the number three seed, and came back with a 46-35 win in the regional opener March 3. The win sent them to Altoona to face the Rails, who were the number two seed with a 13-9 record.
It’s pretty safe to say the Mounders were on fire from beyond the arc with 33 of their 46 points coming from three point land. Brandon Bohl came up with two of them in the first quarter to go with an Alex Hollister deuce for an 8-2 lead after a quarter of play. Bohl, Cole Tyman and Chandler Schreiber all canned one in the second stanza and with a close range bucket by Ben Lambele, Elk Mound carried a 22-15 lead into the half.
The triples kept falling in the second half with Dane Lew coming up with a pair in the third quarter to go with one by Noah Zurbuchen who added a two point shot and the Mounders increased their lead to 10 at 33-23. Lew and Tyman both added another trey in the fourth with Tyman also scoring from the paint, while Justin Erpenbach came up with a couple of deuces, and Zurbuchen added a free toss to complete the 11 point win.
“We shot the ball very well tonight from the three point line and were able to have our best rebounding game of the season,” coach Chris Hahn said. “We played hard throughout the game which helped us slowly increase our lead as the game went on.”
Lew was high scorer for the Mounders with 12 points coming from four triples while Bohl added nine points, all from three shots behind the arc. Elk Mound’s defense held the Warriors leading scorer Sam Neville seven points under his average with five points.
ELK MOUND (46) Lew 4-0-0-12, Bohl 3-0-0-9. Tyman 3-0-0-8, Zurbuchen 2-1-2-6, Erpenbach 2-0-0-4, Schreiber 1-0-0-3, Hollister 1-0-0-2, Lambele 1-0-0-2
NEILLSVILLE (35) M. Dux 3-2-2-8, J. Kunze 3-2-2-8, Neville 2-0-0-5, J. Kurtz 2-0-0-5, N. Matson 2-0-0-4, N. Peterson 1-0-0-2, J. Mcgee 0-2-2-2, N. Matson 0-1-3-1
THREE POINTERS: Lew 4, Bohl 3, Tyman 2, Zurbuchen 1, Schreiber 1, Neville 1, Kurtz 1
The Railroaders finished in third place in the Western Cloverbelt Conference behind Eau Claire Regis, the number one ranked school in the state in D4 and a regional champion, and Fall Creek, who also is a regional champion and will play the Ramblers this week. This being said, the Rails were 13-10 overall while the Mounders were 10-13 when the regional semi-final game started.
Elk Mound held a slim 14-12 lead after a quarter of play and the score was knotted at 28-28 at the half as Dane Lew connected on a trio of triples and was four for four at the foul line. Cole Tyman added a couple of treys, Chandler Schreiber knocked one down, Justin Erpenbach came up with a deuce and a free toss and Noah Zurbuchen added a free throw to account for the first half points.
With help by another Lew trey and one from Brandon Bohl, Elk Mound pulled ahead again, leading 40-37 at the end of three quarters of play but were outscored 21-14 in the final eight minutes, resulting in the four point loss. Bohl scored nine of the Mounders’ points in the quarter.
Lew saved his best for last as he finished with a career high 19 points to lead the Mounders while Bohl contributed with 14. Elk Mound was 11 for 20 at the foul line while the Rails were 12 for 19.
According to Elk Mound coach Chris Hahn, “I thought we played very well throughout the game and I thought we outplayed Altoona. “We were able to get great shot attempts throughout the game and we converted at an efficient rate. We also attacked the rim and got a lot of great post touches. Dane was great tonight and I thought he played his best game of the year. He played like I know he’s capable of playing and Brandon and Cole also played extremely well for us on both ends of the floor. Justin fouled out with 4 minutes remaining and we had a small lead. When he went out, that is when Altoona took their first lead of the game and they got some timely shots from Birch down low. I thought that was the difference in the game. We really defended their best player well and Bowden only scored 9 points, 4 of which came late in the game when we were forced to foul.”
ALTOONA (58) D. Ystebo 8-0-1-17, K. Dague 4-3-4-14, M. Burch 5-4-5-14, A. Bowden 2-4-4-9, R. Klomstad 1-0-2-3, I. Lungelow 0-1-2-1
ELK MOUND (54) Lew 5-3-6-19, Bohl 3-6-7-14, Erpenbach 3-1-4-7, Tyman 2-0-0-6, Zurbuchen 1-1-2-3, Schreiber 1-0-0-3, B. Lambele 1-0-0-2
THREE POINTERS: Lew 4, Dague 3, Bohl 2, Tyman 2, Schreiber 1, Klomstad 1, Bowden 1, Ystebo 1