By Cara L. Dempski
GLENWOOD CITY — One season after going 21-2 overall, the Hilltopper girls’ basketball team found itself in unfamiliar territory. After a series of winning seasons, the Toppers had yet to win a game prior to the holiday break.
Things did not look good for the Lady Hilltoppers on the first night of the Glenwood City Holiday Tournament when they fell behind the Osceola Chieftains and never could catch up. Glenwood lost the December 29 game 42-33.
The Hilltoppers showed a little fighting spirit in their December 30 match-up with Ellsworth, and it paid off. Glenwood City won its first game of the season with a score of 52-51.
The win moves Glenwood City to 1-8 overall, and they remain at 0-3 in the Dunn-St. Croix. The Topper girls will not play again until January 5, when they hit the road to take on Boyceville. They will then host Colfax on January 10.
The Hilltoppers had difficulty getting shots to fall at the start of the game against the Chieftains. It took a full three minutes before they put any points on the board, and then a solitary free throw courtesy of Delaney Quinn made the score 6-1.
With only 2:40 left in the opening half, the Toppers were down 24-10, but put together three field goals in the closing minutes to move within eight points of Osceola at the half.
Junior Jenesa Klinger drew a foul only 30 seconds into the second half and put one of her two charity shots through the hoop to make the score 24-17.
Quinn put in a shot from the top of the key to pull within four points, but the Chieftains opened up a nine-point lead over the next seven minutes to make the score 33-24. For the remaining eight minutes of the game, the Glenwood City girls would fight for shots to fall, but were eventually overcome by the Osceola team.
Senior Becca Moll led the Hilltopper scoring effort with nine points. Jenesa Klinger and Mariah Voeltz tied with six points each, sophomores Delaney Quinn and Hanna Strehlo each picked up five, and Briana Barstad put in a lay-up for two.
Sophomore Haylee Palmsteen led Osceola with 14 points.
OSCEOLA 42, GLENWOOD CITY 33
Osceola………………..……..24 18 — 42
Glenwood City……………….16 17 — 33
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Osceola (16-4-14-42) A. Boissy 1-0-0-5, M. Campeau 3-2-1-8, E. Link 1-0-0-2, A. Pauley 0-2-4-5, B. Bents 2-0-4-4, S. Steivang 1-0-1-2, H. Palmsteen 7-0-1-14, K. Haase 1-0-3-2.
Glenwood City (13-4-15-33) J. Klinger 2-2-5-6, M. Voeltz 3-0-2-6, D. Quinn 1-0-2-5, H. Strehlo 2-1-0-5, B. Barstad 1-0-1-2, B. Moll 4-1-3-9, C. Lawson 0-0-2-0.
THREE-POINTERS O — A. Boissy 1, A. Pauley 1; GC — D. Quinn 1.
It was perhaps an omen that Glenwood City was the first to score in the December 30 contest against Ellsworth.
Hanna Strehlo put up a bounce off the glass to get the Hilltoppers rolling, which they continued to do for the first seven minutes of the game. There were a lot of shots falling on either side of the court, but the ones that counted were all belonged to Glenwood City.
The Toppers went on a 10-0 run before the Panthers put up two points of their own at 11:15 on the first. Ellsworth put up two more field goals to make the score 10-6 before the Hilltoppers could score again.
The two teams traded shots for the remainder of the initial half, taking a break for halftime with a score of 17-13.
The Panthers raced out of the gate in the second half, putting up enough points to take the lead, 21-20 nearly four minutes into the half. Klinger drew a foul as she went up for – and sank – a shot off the glass. She made neither charity throw, but her layup gave Glenwood the lead again, 22-21.
Ellsworth opened up a seven-point lead at one point, but the Hilltoppers kept grinding away, picking up free throws and field goals to slowly close the gap. The winner of the game was not even a sure thing when the clock ticked down for the final minute.
Quinn put up a three-point shot with only 38.6 left to go to even the score at 51, and then Courtney Jo Lawson and Becca Moll stepped up to the line for two shots apiece in a double-bonus situation with only 13.1 seconds on the clock.
Lawson dropped in her first shot, but her second shot, and both of Moll’s, bounced off the rim, giving Glenwood City only a one-point advantage.
The game could have gone a different direction in the final seconds, but Ellsworth’s enthusiasm in reaching the other end of the court outpaced its ability to do so safely, resulting in a pass from Panther sophomore Emma Steele missing its intended target and bouncing out of bounds.
All that Glenwood had to do was hold onto the ball for the final nine seconds, which they did.
Moll and Quinn led the game with 18 points for the senior and 14 for the sophomore. Klinger and Strehlo each picked up eight points, and Mariah Voeltz, Jessyca Crossley and Jatelyn Johnson each added one point.
Ellsworth’s Emma Swanson scored 11 points to lead the Panthers.
ELLSWORTH 51, GLENWOOD CITY 52
Ellsworth……………………..13 38 — 51
Glenwood City………………17 35 — 52
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Ellsworth (14-14-32-51) E. Swanson 3-2-5-11, M. Steele 1-0-4-2, K. Nugent 2-3-4-7, T Feuerhelm 0-4-3-4, N. Sigler 3-0-3-6, A. Reuvers 1-2-3-4, L. Walter 1-0-3-2, C. Richards 1-2-4-4, O. Lynner 0-1-0-7, C. Dahl 2-0-3-4.
Glenwood City (15-19-21-52) J. Klinger 1-6-5-8, M. Voeltz 0-1-3-1, D. Quinn 2-3-4-14, H. Strehlo 4-0-1-8, B. Barstad 0-0-3-0, J. Johnson 0-1-1-1, J. Crossley 0-1-1-1, B. Boll 6-6-3-18, C. Lawson 0-1-0-1.
THREE-POINTERS E — E. Swanson 1, O. Lynner 2; GC — D. Quinn 1.