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Lady Bulldogs end losing streak against Elmwood/Plum City, Stanley-Boyd after first falling to Spooner

by: Laura Giammattei

BOYCEVILLE — Things are looking up for the Lady Bulldogs. The Boyceville girls fought tooth and nail for their second win of the season against Elmwood/Plum City and it was an essential win for the team at this juncture in the season.

The Boyceville girls’ varsity team have had a rough start to their 2015-2016 basketball season, losing seven of their first eight games, including their recent away game in Cameron on Tuesday, January 5th. However, they ended the week strongly with two back to back wins against the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves at home just two days later on Thursday, January 7th and the Stanley-Boyd Orioles on Saturday, January 9.

Prior to their wins, the Lady Bulldogs lost their first game of the new year against the Cameron Comets, 61-49.

Despite a combined 33 points from juniors Madysn Riek and Cassie Malean, the Bulldogs were unable to defend against an impressive solo 25 points scored by sophomore Maddy Otto of the Cameron Comets. The impressive Comets also connected on six three point shots compared to Boyceville’s four and both teams shot about sixty percent from the free throw line. Had the Bulldogs been able to stop Otto, they may have emerged victorious in all three games.

Despite a closer loss in Cameron, the new year brought better news for the Boyceville girls as they produced their first win against Elmwood/Plum City with a final score of 55-45.

The game started off slowly, at one point neither team put up any baskets for a four minute duration. However, offensive production picked up in the second portion of the first half and soon found the girls with a 25-22 lead going into the second half of regulation.

Junior Madysn Riek had a very strong game, leading her team with 19 of the Bulldogs’ 55 points. She dominated under the basket, coming up with many of her points scored off offensive rebounds. Senior Jenna Beyrer also contributed ten points for her team, including three two point shots and connecting on four of her five attempts at the free throw line.

While the Wolves led by just a bucket or two most of the first half of play, the Bulldogs pulled ahead when junior Cassie Malean sank a three-pointer to tie the game at 22-22 with 2:22 minutes left in the half. The half concluded with three more points that came from Riek after being fouled on a successful two-point jump shot under the basket.

The Bulldogs kicked offensive production up a notch in the second half and managed to pull ahead to a nine point lead within the first two minutes and held that lead the majority of the rest of the game. Though they suffered a number of crucial turnovers, the girls were able to hold their lead and ended the game with a comfortable ten point win.

Their success followed them to Stanley-Boyd on Saturday, January 9, where they came up with their second win in a row, with a tight final score of 61-55.

It was an extremely close game throughout, with Boyceville up by just one point after a crucial three-point shot from junior Brooklyn Booth right at the tail end of the first half.

The second half proved just as exciting as both teams forced the game into overtime at 50 points a piece. The Lady Bulldogs went on to dominate in overtime, scoring over double the points the Orioles banked which led to the Bulldogs’ narrow six point victory. They held their opponents to just a mere five points in overtime.

Riek and Malean both had great offensive games, scoring 28 points and 20 points, respectively. Riek’s buckets included ten two-point shots and she connected on eight of her ten attempts from the free throw line.

Malean proved to be most ambitious as she connected on an impressive five buckets from the arc and also sank all three of her foul shot opportunities.

Bulldog coach, Jolene Bird comments on the girls’ performance: “Everyone played very well, it was a great team win. Madyson Riek was very solid inside and Cassie Malean shot very well from the arc. Brooklyn Booth hit a big three point shot right at halftime to give us the lead and momentum we needed for the second half. Free throw percentage was also much better and where I would expect this team to be this season.”

The Lady Bulldogs traveled to take on the neighboring Glenwood City Hilltoppers yesterday, Tuesday, January 12, and will continue their next two games on the road in Mondovi on Saturday, January 16 and Cadott on Tuesday, January 19.