By Cara L. Dempski
GLENWOOD CITY — The Glenwood City girls’ basketball team’s first game of the season was a tough one.
Not only did the Hilltoppers host one of the Middle Border’s better girls’ teams, Amery, November 21, they were flattened by the Warriors in a 71-32 loss to head into the Thanksgiving break with a 0-1 record.
It was not what you would call a fortuitous home opener.
Head coach Dean Fayerweather said after the game there is some work to be done by the Lady Toppers.
“We have a lot to work on in defense,” he said. “I’m taking nothing away from Amery. They have some very talented post players.”
Those post players used their height and heft to intimidate the smaller Hilltoppers into turnover after turnover in last Tuesday’s contest, and left Fayerweather lamenting his own team’s lack of size and basketball acumen.
The Hilltopper head coach chalked the loss up to first-game jitters, and then dropping behind by 15 points before the score started to just edge further and further out of reach as major factors in Glenwood City’s loss.
The Warriors went up 6-0 in the opening minutes of the game before senior Mariah Voeltz drew a foul and was awarded a trip to the line. She gave the Hilltoppers their first point, but then missed on her second charity toss to leave the score 6-1 with 15:33 to go before halftime.
Glenwood City brought the score to within two points nearly four minutes later with a big three-point shot from senior Cortney Lawson to make the scoreboard read 12-10 in Amery’s favor, but the Toppers had difficulty keeping up after that and trailed 34-19 when they broke to the locker room.
Things did not improve greatly in the second half, with the Warriors going on scoring run after scoring run to lift themselves to 54-27 lead over the Hilltoppers with a little over nine minutes to play in the remaining half.
Amery kept pushing, but Glenwood City did find some fight in the end, and raised their final score for the night to 32 points.
While the Toppers struggled to maintain control – and subsequently possession – of the ball for much of the game, Fayerweather was happy to see his team playing a more physical game this season.
“The things we had this year so far in game one that we didn’t have last year were the scrappiness on the floor, going after balls and physicality,” he explained. “I did ask that of them, and there weren’t elbows thrown, but we did have that physicality. We did play aggressive when we could against the bigger people.”
Voeltz led the Hilltoppers in scoring for the night with 10 points, while Jenesa Klinger reeled in five against the Warriors. Hanna Strehlo and Delanie Fayerweather each picked up four points in the game, Delaney Quinn and Lawson nabbed three points each, Emily Hill sent up a single field goal for two, and Makayla O’Brien drained a free throw for one point.
The game’s highest-scoring individual was Amery junior Madalyn Granica, who nailed 12 field goals and four of six free throws for 28 points.
The Lady Hilltoppers took a short break for Thanksgiving, but were back on the court last evening, November 28, to host Grantsburg. They are scheduled for a road trip to Flambeau this Thursday, November 30, and then take a short break before hosting Mondovi for a Dunn-St. Croix game December 8.
AMERY 71, GLENWOOD CITY 32
Amery…………………….……34 37 — 71
Glenwood City………………..19 13 — 32
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
— A. VanSomeren 1-0-0-2, L. Monson 1-0-1-2, M. Brotzel 1-1-3-4, C. Edwards 1-0-3-3, J Engebretson 1-2-2-4, M. Granica 12-4-1-28, A. Koehler 2-0-1-4, A. Edwards 0-0-1-0, E. Schmidt 2-2-0-6, R. Fouks 1-0-0-2, A. Schmidt 6-4-2-16.
Glenwood City (11-8-17-32) — J. Klinger 1-3-2-5, M. Voeltz 4-1-1-10, D. Quinn 1-1-4-3, M. O’Brien 0-1-0-1, H. Strehlo 2-0-4-4, A. Curvelllo 0-0-2-0, O. Scalze 0-0-2-0, D. Fayerweather 1-2-0-4, C. Lawson 1-0-0-3, E. Hill 1-0-2-2.
A — M. Brotzel 1, C. Edwards 1; C — M. Voeltz 1, C. Lawson 1.