By Cara L. Dempski
ELK MOUND — When Elk Mound took on Bloomer at this year’s Northwest Tipoff Classic there were a few faces from the Boyceville roster spotted in the crowd.
It is a common practice for coaches and teams to scope out upcoming opponents to learn the best approach to the team.
The Mounders’ team the Bulldog players watched December 9 at UW-Stout was not the same one the visiting Boyceville boys saw last Tuesday, December 12.
The Elk Mound team that showed up on its home hardwood that night was infinitely more confident, and showed tighter ball handling skills on its way to a 79-58 home win.
It was the Elk Mound boys first Dunn-St. Croix win of the season and evened their conference mark at 1-1 as they turned their focus to Colfax and the first of two annual rivalry matchups this season December 15.
Head coach Mike Kessler said the spark came from coaching staff just pushing energy with the team in the practice session between the prior Saturday’s loss and the Tuesday matchup with the Bulldogs.
“The thing about this group, and it’s the strangest group, they practice hard, but they haven’t been playing very well,” he explained. “I’m really happy for them to finally see their hard work in practice pay off, and let people see what they’re capable of doing.”
Mounder senior Ben Lambele had a busy night under the basket, scoring 26 for his team and pulling in rebound after rebound for Elk Mound. Kessler said the squad relies on Lambele’s skills on the inside and outside, and he hopes the team can keep his help.
Logan Bergh shot well in the game, picking up 13 points, including a pair of three-pointers early in the first half to provide a little extra spark to the EM game. Conner Mavis scored nine points with four field goals and a charity shot, Brandon Redwine fired three field goals and a pair of free throws for eight, Ryan Mohr scored seven, Dylan Curry chalked up six, Marcus Kinblom scored five, Blake Rosenthal hit a single field goal for two, and Dylan Black, Colton Ward and Nathaniel Schreiber each logged one point.
Bulldog senior Luke Knudtson was the game’s highest-scoring player after earning 27 points overall.
Kessler said the team was looking forward to the game at Colfax December 15, and expressed a fondness for rivalry games.
“Garrett’s (Maas) got a nice team with a lot of nice players,” Kessler finished. “I always kind of think in a rivalry game like Colfax and Elk Mound, you throw skill and talent out the door, and it’s just playing on energy and passion. The rivalry speaks for itself, and I look forward to the environment.”
After the Mounders finished at Colfax last Friday, they will prepare for a non-conference road game at St. Croix Central this Thursday, December 21 before breaking for the holiday. Kessler and the Mounders will be at Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau December 29 before opening 2018 with a January 5 trip to Elmwood/Plum City.
ELK MOUND 79, BOYCEVILLE 58
Boyceville……………………..20 38 — 58
Elk Mound…………………….48 31 — 79
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Boyceville (24-6-22-58) — B. Boda 2-1-5-7, J. Reisimer 2-0-3-4, C. Boesl 3-1-1-7, B. Sempf 1-0-3-2, Lo. Knudtson 1-0-0-3, J. Gonzales 1-3-4-5, C. Klefstad 0-0-3-0, B. Nye 1-0-0-3, Lu. Knudtson 13-1-3-27.
Elk Mound (29-13-19-79) — R. Mohr 3-0-2-7, B. Rosenthal 1-0-3-2, B. Redwine 3-2-1-8, D. Curry 2-0-1-6, B. Lambele 9-5-2-26, D. Black 0-1-2-1, L. Bergh 5-1-3-13, C. Ward 0-1-0-1, J. Mentzel 0-0-1-0, N. Schreiber 0-1-1-1, M. Kinblom 2-1-2-5, C. Mavis 4-1-1-9.
B — B. Boda 2, Lo. Knudtson 1, B. Nye 1; EM — R. Mohr 1, D. Curry 2, B. Lambele 3, L. Berg 2.