By Cara L. Dempski
BOYCEVILLE — Coach Ben Luer and his Bulldog boys’ basketball team added another “W” to their record early last week in the first of two pre-holiday home contests against non-conference foes.
The Boyceville boys welcomed Turtle Lake to their home gym December 19 to open the final week before the winter holiday break. The Bulldogs were the second Dunn-St. Croix team to take on the Lakers this month, and were the second team to beat them when they took a 41-37 home win for their second victory this season.
The Dogs finished out the week with a second home matchup against Somerset. They came away from another close game with a 66-58 loss.
Luer and the Bulldogs are 2-5 overall and 0-3 in the D-SC as they get ready to face Clayton and Northwood in a December 28 tournament at Clayton. They step back into conference competition January 5 at home against Mondovi.
In September 2014, fans of the Green Bay Packers were starting to panic over their team’s 1-2 start to the season when quarterback Aaron Rodgers issued a simple statement to the Packer Nation.
“Five letters here just for everyone in Packer land: R-E-L-A-X,” Rodgers said in a radio interview. “Relax. We’re going to be OK.”
Exchange the Packers legend for Boyceville head basketball coach Ben Luer and the fans with his varsity team, and you have the same kind of winning strategy, because the Bulldogs got past Turtle Lake 41-37 December 19 by relaxing and letting the opportunities come to them.
“Those things it takes to win, sometimes those are not always fun,” Luer said after the game. “Boxing out, diving after loose balls; I told them if they do things like that, at the end of the game, they’ll find themselves in the game. I think they’re buying into that.”
The Bulldogs managed to keep the Lakers’ usual fast, athletic pace contained, and showed a great deal of patience setting up solid looks for the score, indicating the Boyceville squad has started to believe that the “unfun” bits of the game can lead to a great deal of amusement when the clock finally winds down and you’re on the top end of the scoreboard.
There were moments in the game where the Dogs showed flashes of anxiety and impatience with plays – moments usually accompanied by foul calls or turnovers as repayment for hasty action – but they seemed few and far between.
Senior Luke Knudtson nabbed the game’s highest score with 16 points after sinking seven field goals and going one for two from the line. Bryce Boda was not far behind him with 13 points, Jade Reisimer put in a pair of threes for six, Logan Knudtson was good for five, and Jayson Gonzales dropped in one of two free throw attempts.
Turtle Lake’s Jonah Kahl and Carson Schneider each scored 11 points to lead the Lakers.
TURTLE LAKE 37, BOYCEVILLE 41
Turtle Lake…………………….20 17 — 37
Boyceville……….…………….22 19 — 41
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Turtle Lake (15-2-14-37) — L. Torgerson 1-0-1-3, C. Torgerson 5-0-5-10, M. Dietrich 0-0-2-0, J. Kahl 4-0-2-11, C. Heffner 1-0-0-2, J. Stachowiak 0-0-1-0, T. Keppen 0-0-1-0, C. Schneider 4-2-2-11.
Boyceville (19-3-7-41) — B. Boda 4-5-2-9, J. Reisimer 2-0-0-6, Lo. Knudtson 2-0-2-5, J. Gonzales 0-1-1-1, Lu. Knudtson 7-1-2-16.
TL — L. Torgerson 1, J. Kahl 3, C. Schneider 1; B — J. Reisimer 2, Lo. Knudtson 1, Lu. Knudtson 1.
It seems the theme for this year’s Bulldog boys’ basketball team could be “close, but no cigar.”
Boyceville hosted the Somerset Spartans December 21, and fell to the visiting squad 66-58 to drop down to 2-5 overall.
No further information regarding this game was available prior to press time.