Lady Hilltoppers sweep the competition, end week with redeeming victory against Durand
by Laura Giammattei
The Glenwood City Lady Hilltoppers are killing the competition this season, as they executed a three game sweep last week, which brought their win streak to nine.
The ladies hit the road early in the week to take on the Saint Croix Central Panthers on Monday, February 1, where they came up with a 57-44 victory. They would go on to win their second away game against the Mondovi Buffaloes, 53-31 on Thursday, February 4, followed by a 48-32 home victory against the Durand Panthers on Saturday, February 6.
St. Croix Central
In Hammond, the Hilltoppers had their work cut out for them, as one particular Panther athlete posed a threat on the offensive end of the court.
The girls had some difficulty containing Panther sophomore Mia Krogseng, who had an impressive seven steals and finished the night with 20 points. She shot well under the net and sank one bucket from the arc. She also connected on three of her four opportunities at the free throw line.
For the Toppers, a great team effort provided the girls with strong offensive production, despite the Panthers nipping at their heels most of the first half. Four Topper athletes contributed at least ten points apiece, with senior Morgan Kadinger leading that charge with 16 points. She shot well from both the arc and paint, and also connected on both her free throw opportunities in the second half.
Senior Rachel Klatt followed closely behind with 14 points, many of which were produced from close paint shots off the backboard. Seniors Gabby Peterson and Maya Petersen also put up a significant amount of points for the Hilltoppers, scoring 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Though the Panthers put up a good fight in the first half and only trailed by three at intermission, the Toppers pulled ahead in the second half and finished with a comfortable 13 point victory.
The girls refocused to compete against the Mondovi Buffaloes three days later, where they came up with another strong 22-point win.
The Hilltoppers dominated both sides of the court in the first half, scoring 24 points while holding the Buffaloes to just eight points. Though the Buffaloes offensive production improved greatly in the second half, they could not make up for the deficit created in the first half.
For the Toppers, Morgan Kadinger provided another substantial offensive performance, with a team high of 16 points. She again shot well inside the arc and also connected on five of her six attempts at the free throw line. Rachel Klatt and Maya Petersen each put up eight points each, while junior Becca Moll stepped up in the second half to add seven for the team.
Having secured two wins on the road, the Hilltoppers returned home on Saturday, February 6 to defeat the Durand Panthers. The win was a significant and redeeming one, as Durand had interrupted the girls’ seven game winning streak back in early January.
Both teams got off to a slow offensive start, with neither team putting any points up on the board for the first three minutes of regulation.
The Panthers struck first with a shot from the free throw line, followed by a two-point bucket to take a 3-0 advantage. However, Glenwood City’s offensive production began to ramp up and they went on a 13-0 run, to go up by ten and held a strong 23-12 lead by halftime.
The Lady Toppers started the game with a 1-2-2 defense but were accumulating too many fouls early in the game. The girls committed five fouls within the first five minutes of the game, two of which had been on Morgan Kadinger. Coach Kuehndorf decided to switch to a 2-3 zone, which cut down on the foul offenses and also helped contain Durand beyond the arc.
“We started out in a 1-2-2 zone but it just looked like the 2-3 was going to work better, and it did. It allowed us to cover better and still have someone in the middle in case someone did get through. Rachel (Klatt) does a nice job of deflecting shots and getting rebounds so the 2-3 worked well for us.”
Durand entered the second half with a pair of three’s and closed Glenwood’s lead to eight. However, the Panthers did not get any closer to closing as and the Toppers were able to maintain a 10-12 point lead for the remainder of the game.
Klatt and Petersen both had strong games inside offensively and Klatt made some big plays on the defensive end. Kadinger also ended the night strong with ten points.
Coach Kuehndorf had quite a bit to say about the girls’ win against Durand, “Keeping the fouling to a minimum was one of the goals that we talked about before the game. We are a pretty good team especially when our top five are on the floor; top seven even. If they can stay on the floor, defensively we do a nice job.”
“One of our biggest goals coming into this game was to prevent Durand from shooting. In the first game, Durand had eight three pointers and that is a lot. We know they can shoot; don’t dare them. We had to make sure we got a hand in their face and make it tough for them if nothing else. They are a good enough team that we are not going to stop them from scoring but just make it difficult for them and I thought that we did that overall. We gave up a few (threes) but overall did a good job.”
“Moving forward, we stay focused on where we are going and whatever some else does we can’t control that. We just take one game at a time and win that and move on to the next one.”
The Lady Hilltoppers began this week with a game at home against the Amery Warriors on Tuesday, February 9. They will next travel to Boyceville on Friday, February 12 for their second game this season against the rival Bulldogs.