By Cara L. Dempski
Mounder head boys’ basketball coach Mike Kessler sees a lot of promise in his team after Elk Mound put up a good fight against the state-ranked Prescott Cardinals.
Prescott is ranked fifth in the January 10 Wissports.net Coaches Poll for Division 3.
The Mounders may have lost the January 9 contest to the Cardinals by a score of 82-70, but Kessler was pleased with how the team conducted themselves against the Cardinals.
Three days later, Elk Mound traveled to Plum City for a January 12 conference match-up with the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves. The Mounders started a new winning streak against the Wolves with a 56-44 victory after struggling to defend the post in the first half.
The Mounders played at Spring Valley on January 17 and head to Glenwood City for a meeting with the Hilltoppers on January 20. Elk Mound will not play again until hosting Mondovi on January 26. The Elk Mound squad has a Dunn-St. Croix record of 4-1 and holds second place behind Spring Valley. The team is 7-4 overall.
For some coaches, even a loss can seem like a gain. That certainly seems to be the case for Mounder head coach, Mike Kessler after the team’s January 9, 82-70 loss to Prescott.
“I thought the boys played very well,” Kessler stated. “What a tremendous team Prescott has. We were not able to pull close enough down the stretch.”
The Cards led the game, 42-27 at the half.
The Mounder coach explained the Elk Mound squad had a stretch in the first half where it did not play a sound game. He believes that was the difference between winning and losing the game. Kessler said he was pleased with how the Mounders came out of halftime and competed.
“We talked about being in attack mode in the second half, as that is what we were lacking in the first,” Kessler explained. “They did a nice job.”
Dane Lew continued to rack up points in his final season with the Mounders, scoring 27 points against the Cardinals. Junior Ben Lambele also recorded a double-digit score, picking up 18 with six field goals, a solo three-point shot, and trio of charity shots.
Chandler Schreiber logged seven points, Dylan Black picked up six, and Noah Zurbuchen sunk a field goal and a three-pointer for five. Jameson Rubenzer was three for three on free throws, and Brady Redwine and Carter Pritchard picked up two points each.
Prescott’s 7 foot 1 inch center, Owen Hamilton, scored 26 points against Elk Mound to lead the Cardinal scoring effort.
ELK MOUND 70, PRESCOTT 82
Elk Mound………………………..27 43 — 70
Prescott……………………………42 40 — 82
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Elk Mound (18-10-10-70) D. Lew 7-4-3-27, C. Pritchard 1-0-0-2, J. Rubenzer 0-3-0-3, B. Lambele 6-3-2-18, D. Black 0-0-1-6, N. Zurbuchen 1-0-1-5, B. Redwine 1-0-0-2, C. Schreiber 2-0-2-7, M. Kinblom 0-0-1-0.
Prescott (18-12-10-82) P. Brookshaw 3-6-1-21, J. Roosen 0-2-2-11, L. Murphy 2-0-1-13, C. Holte 0-2-0-2, N. Simon 0-0-03, O. Hamilton 12-2-3-26, J. Block 0-0-1-0.
THREE-POINTERS EM — D. Lew 3, B. Lambele 1, D. Black 2, N. Zurbuchen 1, C. Schreiber 1; P — P. Brookshaw 3, J. Roosen 3, L. Murphy 3, N. Simon 1.
Elk Mound picked up its fourth conference win and took sole possession of second place January 12 in Plum City. Head coach Mike Kessler said the team had a hard time defending the post in the first half, and the Wolves knocked down open shots when the opportunity arose to put the home team in front 33-29 at the intermission.
Things changed for the Mounders in the second half.
“After some adjustments at halftime, we came out in the second a little crisper and cleaner on both ends of the floor,” Kessler said.
The cleaner game reaped another win for last year’s Dunn-St. Croix champions to keep them in the hunt for the top spot. They trail current leader Spring Valley by one game with a chance to pull even with a victory against the Cardinals on January 17.
Kessler verbalized his continued respect for the Mounders’ ability to dig deep and work hard when tough moments arise.
Lew had another team-leading score for the game with 18 points, while Lambele and Schreiber each added 11 points. Pritchard put in three field goals for six, Ryan Mohr scored five points, Zurbuchen logged three, and Dylan Black chalked up two.
Luke Baier was the high-scoring player in the game, earning 19 points for the Wolves.
ELK MOUND 56, ELMWOOD/PLUM CITY 44
Elk Mound…………………………33 23 — 56
Elmwood/Plum City……………29 15 — 44
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Elk Mound (20-10-11-56) D. Lew 6-3-0-18, C. Pritchard 3-0-1-6, R. Mohr 2-1-2-5, B. Lambele 3-2-2-11, D. Black 0-2-0-2, N. Zurbuchen 1-1-1-3, C. Schreiber 5-1-4-11.
Elmwood/Plum City (11-4-15-44) A. Ebensperger 0-1-4-4, S. Hoyt 1-0-2-14, W. Holt 0-0-1-0, B. Glaus 1-0-1-2, T. Maxwell 0-0-1-0, K. Heit 0-0-2-3, L. Baier 8-3-2-19, C. Hinrichs 1-0-2-15.
THREE-POINTERS EM — D. Lew 1, B. Lambele 1; EPC — A. Ebensperger 1, S. Hoyt 4, K. Heit 1.