By Cara L. Dempski
Like their female counterparts, the Hilltopper boys had a game plan for their first regional match-up this season.
Head coach Tristan Kittilson said after the game he was not sure how well the plan worked, but the 86-69 final score in Glenwood City’s February 28 WIAA Division 4 regional opening win over Colfax argued eloquently in favor of the game plan’s success.
Sophomore Dillon Hierlmeier and junior Riley Schutz combined for 62 points to lead the Toppers to its best offensive outing of the season and first regional semifinal contest in two years. Glenwood City’s previous top-point game was a 74-61 win over the same Vikings’ squad back on January 12.
The win sent the Hilltoppers to Stanley-Boyd High School Friday, March 3 for a second-round contest against the top-seeded Orioles.
The Hilltoppers put together a respectable offensive effort early in the game, but trailed by nine at the half. The Orioles took advantage of their lead in the second to win the game 61-41 and advanced to the regional final the next evening (March 4) where they hosted and beat their second Dunn-St. Croix team in two night, dumping Durand 56-46.
The loss was the final high school game for Glenwood City seniors Allen Croes and Will Rosenow. The two will now focus on their final few months of school and graduation.
While it was not the winning season the Toppers were looking for, Coach Kittilson said the team improved on a daily basis, and he was proud of the them for fighting all season long.
Coach Kittilson said the Hilltoppers were feeling confident going into the first regional match-up of the season despite having split their regular season games against Colfax.
“We knew it was going to be a good game,” Kittilson explained. “Dillon Hierlmeier had it going on offensively, and that gave us a big lift.”
Hierlmeier had it going on indeed.
The sophomore drained six three-point shots, four field goals, and six of his nine shots from the line to earn an impressive 32 points on the way to the Toppers’ February 28 win.
The game looked like it would belong to Colfax for the first seven minutes, but then Hierlmeier and junior Riley Schutz started finding better shot opportunities and saw the ball fall enough times in the last nine minutes of the opening half to take an 11-point lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Vikings looked like they were making a run in the second half, scoring 13 points unopposed before Colfax sophomore Ben Thompson was hit with a foul call, swore at a referee, and was awarded a technical. Hierlmeier stepped up to the line for four shots, and sank two, to make the score 62-45 with only 8:34 left in the game.
Colfax nailed another 24 points in the final seven minutes of the game, but could not keep the Hilltoppers contained, and finally succumbed to Glenwood City, 86-69.
Hierlmeier was the game’s highest-scoring player, but Schutz was not far behind with 30 points of his own. Tanner Davis tacked on another 14 points, and Quinn Taylor and Allen Croes tied with four points each. Pete Hill dropped in a field goal to add two more points toward the final.
The Vikings’ top player was senior Jacob Larson, who scored 19 points for Colfax.
The Hilltoppers then turned their attention to Stanley-Boyd.
“They’re (the Orioles) the number-one seed and a very good team,” Kittilson said. “We’re excited for the opportunity and we’ll be ready to play.”
COLFAX 69, GLENWOOD CITY 86
Colfax………………………………26 43 — 69
Glenwood City…………………..37 49 — 86
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Colfax (17-14-20-69) B. Thompson 0-2-4-5, J. Larson 7-5-0-19, J. Hellmann 0-0-0-3, T. Teige 3-0-2-6, G. Scharlau 2-2-4-15, Mar. Reisdorf 0-1-2-1, L. Heidorn 2-2-3-12, Mat. Reisdorf 3-2-5-8.
Glenwood City (25-18-22-86) D. Hierlmeier 4-6-3-32, P. Hill 1-0-5-2, H. DeSmith 0-0-2-0, Q. Taylor 1-2-2-4, R. Schutz 10-10-3-30, T. Davis 7-0-4-14, A. Croes 2-0-3-4.
THREE-POINTERS C — B. Thompson 1, J. Hellmann 1, G. Scharlau 3, L. Heidorn 2; GC — D. Hierlmeier 6.
Glenwood City got off to a good start in its regional semi-final game.
Sophomore Dillon Hierlmeier hit his first three-point shot at the 15:00 mark in Glenwood City’s March 3 contest at Stanley-Boyd High School. The Toppers’ let the Orioles score a basket, but then Hierlmeier struck again, giving the Hilltoppers a 6-2 advantage early in the game.
But, then Oriole senior Seth Hause proved he could drain those outside shots too, dropping in a pair of back-to-back threes to lift the Stanley-Boyd squad to 8-6 against Glenwood City’s boys.
Unfortunately, the Orioles were just getting started, and the game ended in a 61-41 landslide that sent Stanley-Boyd to the regional final and the Hilltoppers home after a rough season.
Aaron Schneider pulled in a rebound and put the ball up for two, making the score 10-6, but Glenwood’s Riley Schutz nabbed a rebound of his own. The Hilltopper junior garnered his team two points with a reverse layup, and the score became 10-8.
The Orioles just kept grinding, though, and the scores kept coming. Schutz drew a foul at 7:52, draining both shots to lend some fire to the Toppers and make the score 17-10 with Stanley-Boyd on top.
The team in orange and black forced a few turnovers, but seemed to get plenty of good looks in the first half, closing the first 18 minutes of the game with a 26-17 lead over Glenwood City.
The second half did not see improvement for the Toppers’ situation. The half opened with Stanley-Boyd’s Brady Booth sinking a field goal and drawing a foul from Glenwood Sophomore Tanner Davis. The Oriole senior nailed his charity throw, giving the team a 29-17 lead.
The Hilltoppers would go on to score another 24 points in the game, but were not able to withstand the onslaught of scoring drives from the Orioles. The Glenwood City squad never quit, though, with Hierlmeier hitting a fadeaway shot for two at 6:47, Davis clocking a 12-footer after missing an attempt for three, and Schutz hitting a few layups and scoring from the free throw line.
Senior Allen Croes punctuated his high school career by earning Glenwood City’s final basket of the game, a three-pointer that lifted the Toppers to their final score of 41.
Schutz earned the team’s highest score with 16 points, while Hierlmeier was good for 16 against the Orioles. Croes contributed five points, his classmate Will Rosenow drained a three-point shot, and Davis scored a single field goal for two.
The game’s highest score belonged to the Orioles’ Booth, who scored 20 points with nine field goals and a pair of charity shots.
Kittilson seemed pleased with the way his team performed this season, despite the lack of wins. He said he will miss the two seniors, Croes and Rosenow, a great deal.
“Our seniors were tremendous and will be sorely missed,” Kittilson finished. “They are two of the most high-character young men I have ever had the pleasure of coaching.”
The Hilltopper boys finished the season with an overall record of 7-17.
GLENWOOD CITY 41, STANLEY-BOYD 61
Glenwood City…………………..17 24 — 41
Stanley-Boyd…………………….26 35 — 61
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Glenwood City (10-6-17-41) D. Hierlmeier 4-1-3-15, O. Wagner 0-0-1-0, P. Hill 0-0-3-0, H. DeSmith 0-0-5-0, R. Schutz 5-3-2-16, T. Davis 1-0-1-2, W. Rosenow 0-0-0-3, A. Croes 0-2-2-5.
Stanley-Boyd (16-11-9-61) B. Herrick 2-0-1-7, T. Chwala 0-1-0-1, S. Hause 0-6-1-15, B. Milas 1-1-2-3, A. Schneider 2-0-4-4, Z. Ingersoll 1-0-0-8, B. Booth 9-2-1-20, H. Koenig 1-1-0-3.
THREE-POINTERS GC — D. Hierlmeier 2, R. Schutz 1, W. Rosenow 1, A. Croes 1; SB — B. Herrick 1, S. Hause 3, Z. Ingersoll 2.