By Cara L. Dempski
The Mounder boys’ basketball team got one last “tune-up” game in early last week before stepping into Dunn-St. Croix competition later in the week before and playing in yet another non-conference contest this past Saturday.
Elk Mound hosted Eau Claire Regis high school December 5, losing the game 53-50. Coach Mike Kessler was still impressed with the home team’s performance, as the Mounders reportedly had a chance to tie things up at the end of the game.
The Orange and Black took to the road December 7 for a meeting with the Durand Panthers in the Dunn-St. Croix conference opener. The Mounders took a lead into halftime, but the Panthers got back into the game in the second half and rallied for a 61-57 win.
Kessler and the Mounders rounded out the busy week with a trip to the Northwest Tip-off Classic at UW-Stout December 9, where Elk Mound faced Bloomer. The Mounders struggled to mount an offense, and lost the matchup 51-26.
Following last week’s outcomes, the Mounders are currently 1-4 overall and 0-1 in conference.
Elk Mound hosted Boyceville last night, December 12, and will play the first of two rivalry games against Colfax this season with a Friday, December 15 match-up at home. The Elk Mound squad will wrap up its pre-Christmas schedule Thursday, December 21 hosting former Dunn-St. Croix conference member St. Croix Central.
It takes a lot of drive and determination for a team of teenage boys who had two separate extended periods without scoring (six minutes and nine and one-half minutes) to keep a basketball game within reach against a team like Eau Claire Regis’ Ramblers.
It takes a good coach to recognize his team’s effort, despite losing 53-50.
“The fact that we had a shot at the end of the game to tie it up speaks volumes to the work and effort our guys gave, which I am incredibly proud of,” Elk Mound head boys’ basketball coach said a few days later. “I thought it was a positive step forward.”
The December 5 loss came just a few days after a substantial smack-down courtesy of Black River Falls, but provided hope for Kessler and his pack of Mounders.
Elk Mound had a six-point edge on Regis at halftime, leading the game 29-23, but the Ramblers fired back in the second half, scoring 30 to put them on top when the final buzzer sounded.
Senior Ben Lambele led the Mounder scoring effort with 15 points, while Dylan Curry tacked up 12 more. Blake Rosenthal and Brett Lew tied with six points apiece, Marcus Kinblom and Brandon Redwine each scored four, and Dylan Black chalked up three in the game.
Regis’ Carter Brown put together 19 points to earn the game’s highest score.
EC REGIS 53, ELK MOUND 50
EC Regis………………………….23 30 — 53
Elk Mound………………………..29 21 — 50
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
EC Regis (0-0-0-48) — J. Salonek 0-0-0-2, K.N. Klatt 0-0-0-18, C. Osborn 0-0-0-2, C. Brown 0-0-0-19, T. Cronk 0-0-0-5, J. Wolterstorff 0-0-0-2.
Elk Mound (17-6-17-50) — B. Rosenthal 2-1-4-6, D. Curry 4-0-4-12, B. Lambele 5-3-1-15, D. Black 1-0-4-3, B. Lew 2-0-0-6, M. Kinblom 2-0-3-4, B. Redwine 1-2-1-4.
According to Kessler, Elk Mound’s conference opener December 7 was a game of scoring runs. Durand went up by 10, and then the home team answered to build up a 10-point lead by halftime.
The Mounders came out of the locker room after the break and put in a bucket right away, but then Durand went on a scoring run again. And so it went until the horn sounded the final time on a 61-57 win for the Panthers.
“I thought the biggest piece (of the loss) for us was energy,” Kessler said several days later. “For whatever reason, we lacked energy. That, to me, was the difference in the game.”
Senior Brandon Redwine led the Elk Mound squad in scoring with 14 points, Kinblom dropped in 13, Rosenthal, Lew and Ryan Mohr each scored seven, Curry added four points, Black scored three, and Logan Bergh recorded two.
DURAND 61, ELK MOUND 57
Durand……………………….….23 38 — 61
Elk Mound………………………33 24 — 57
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Durand (17-18-18-61) — B. Sabelko 1-2-1-5, E. Bauer 4-1-4-12, T. Tulip 0-3-2-5, K. Humphrey 3-6-1-14, J. Anibas 1-2-0-4, R. Radle 4-1-3-9, T. Kolbaten 0-0-2-0, C. O’Keefe 3-3-2-10, I. Whitwam 0-0-2-0, F. Weiss 2-0-1-4.
Elk Mound (21-12-22-57) — R. Mohr 2-2-4-7, B. Rosenthal 2-3-1-7, B. Redwine 5-3-2-14, D. Curry 2-0-4-4, B. Lambele 0-0-3-0, D. Black 1-1-3-3, B. Lew 2-2-0-7, L. Bergh 1-0-1-2, M. Kinblom 6-1-4-13.
D — B. Sabelko 1, E. Bauer 3, K. Humphrey 2, C. O’Keefe 1; EM — R. Mohr 1, B. Redwine 1, B. Lew 1.
It was hard to figure out just what was happening with the Elk Mound boys’ basketball team on the court at UW-Stout’s Johnson Fieldhouse December 9.
The ball handling was sloppy, the Mounders were able to get shots off, but could not get them to fall, and they trailed 22-11 at halftime. Things did not improve in the second half, and the Elk Mound squad fell to the Blackhawks 51-26.
Coach Kessler took sole responsibility for the loss, saying simply that he had not done enough to prepare the team.
Lambele lead the team in scoring with 10 points, Jake Mentzel and Mohr logged five points each, Redwine put up four, and Kinblom and Curry each scored one.
Blackhawk junior Johnny Bleskacek earned the game’s highest score with 16 points.
BLOOMER 51, ELK MOUND 26
Bloomer……………..………….22 29 — 51
Elk Mound…………..…………11 15 — 26
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Bloomer (18-5-9-51) — M. Miller 1-1-0-4, A. Price 2-0-1-6, J. Bleskacek 6-0-2-16, C. Ruf 2-0-1-5, A. Thur 1-0-0-2, B. Sarauer 1-0-1-2, J. Thompson 1-0-0-2, P. Dachel 4-4-4-14.
Elk Mound (9-3-12-26) — R. Mohr 2-0-1-5, B. Rosenthal 0-0-1-0, B. Redwine 2-0-1-4, D. Curry 0-1-2-1, B. Lambele 3-1-3-10, D. Black 0-0-1-0, L. Bergh 0-0-1-0, J. Mentzel 2-0-0-5, M. Kinblom 0-1-1-1.
B — M. Miller 1, A. Price 2, J. Bleskacek 4, C. Ruf 1, P. Dachel 2; EM — R. Mohr 1, B. Lambele 3, J. Mentzel 1.