By Cara L. Dempski
STEVENS POINT — The Elk Mound boys basketball team had a break of nearly two weeks. A lengthy respite that new Mounders’ head coach, Mike Kessler, hoped it would help the team recharge and refocus for the rest of the season.
The Mounders traveled to the UW – Stevens Point’s Quandt Fieldhouse on December 28 and 29 to take part in the 2016 Sentry Classic. Elk Mound took on the Stevens Point Pacelli Cardinals in it’s first tournament match-up on December 28 and lost for only the third time this season, 47-37.
After taking the night to rest and regroup, Elk Mound met the Amherst Falcons, another central Wisconsin school. The Mounders shook off the previous night’s loss to best the Falcons 52-43.
Elk Mound is now 3-3 overall, and maintains a 2-1 record in the Dunn-St. Croix. They played at home January 3 in a non-conference contest against St. Croix Central before hosting long-time rival Colfax on Friday, January 6.
The Mounders are rapidly becoming known this season as a strong defensive team. They just were not as strong as Pacelli when the two teams clashed on December 28.
“Defensively, I thought our kids played well,” head coach Mike Kessler said. “We struggled to score the ball, and all the credit goes to the tough Pacelli defense.”
Despite the loss, Elk Mound’s Dane Lew logged the highest score of the game, reeling in 16 points with four field goals and eight of 16 free throws. Chandler Schrieber tacked up 10 points, Ben Lambele picked up nine, and Dylan Black hit a field goal to record two points.
Pacelli’s AJ Firminhac led the Cardinal offense with 15 points.
ELK MOUND 37, PACELLI 47
Elk Mound……….…14 23 — 37
Pacelli………………15 32 — 47
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Elk Mound (9-13-15-37) D. Lew 4-8-4-16, C. Pritchard 0-0-2-0, J. Rubenzer 0-0-1-0, B. Lambele 3-3-3-9, D. Black 1-0-0-2, N. Zurbuchen 0-0-4-0, C. Schreiber 4-2-1-10.
Pacelli (15-10-16-47) M. Miller 2-4-1-8. C. Cloud 0-0-3-3, N. Helms 1-0-1-2, I. Pisarski 0-2-0-2, A. Blanker 3-0-1-6, A. Firminhac 4-4-4-15, G. Parks 5-0-4-10, C. Molski 0-0-1-0.
THREE-POINTERS P — C. Cloud 1, A. Firminhac 1.
Elk Mound rose to the challenge presented by Amherst by getting physical and kicking its intensity into high gear.
Kessler was pleased by the Mounders’ ability to play a strong offensive and defensive game in the face of adversity.
Lew again led the Mounders offensively, scoring 13 points with five field goals and a trio of charity shots. Zurbuchen and Schreiber each tacked up 12 points for Elk Mound, and Carter Pritchard added six. Ben Lambele put in five points, Dylan Black logged three, and Ryan Mohr is credited with a single free throw.
Junior Mason Wideman scored 16 points for the Falcons to lead his team and take top scoring honors in the game.
ELK MOUND 52, AMHERST 43
Elk Mound……………24 28 — 52
Amherst………………20 23 — 43
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Elk Mound (13-17-13-52) D. Lew 5-2-2-13, C. Pritchard 0-3-0-6, R. Mohr 0-1-1-1, B. Lambele 2-1-4-5, D. Black 0-3-2-3, N. Zurbuchen 0-6-2-12, C. Schreiber 6-0-2-12.
Amherst (15-7-15-42) C. Benn 0-0-1-0, T. Cisewski 1-2-4-4, B. Piotrowski 2-2-3-6, M. Glodowski 5-1-2-11, C. Groholski 0-0-2-6, M. Wideman 7-2-3-16.
THREE-POINTERS EM — C. Pritchard 1, N. Zurbuchen 2; A — C. Groholski 2.