By Cara L. Dempski
Head Bulldog boys’ basketball coach Ben Luer and his team had a rough start last week.
The Boyceville squad opened its week at home last Tuesday, January 16 against one of just two teams who were unbeaten in the Dunn-St. Croix: Durand. The Bulldog coach said the Panthers controlled much of the game’s pace, which left the home team staring at the bottom end of a 69-41 loss when the final buzzer sounded.
[emember_protected] The Dogs hoped to regroup January 19 at Spring Valley, but came away on the short side of a 42-31 score to fall to 0-6 in conference.
Although, Boyceville remained winless in the D-SC, it is 3-9 overall. The team headed to Glenwood City Tuesday evening for a game rescheduled from January 11 due to the weather, and will face the conference co-leading Vikings in Colfax Thursday, January 25. The Bulldogs will close out this month with a home contest against Elk Mound January 30.
It seems one of the rules of this universe is that cats and dogs just do not get along. Cats stalk silently and use speed and precision to attack, while dogs seem more deliberate and tenacious.
The Bulldogs 69-41 loss to the Panthers at Boyceville January 16 seemed to prove that point quite well.
“They’re (Durand) a good team with a lot of good players,” Luer said the day after the game. “We struggled to score early, which led to getting down early, and trying to get back in the game.”
It is a dangerous position to be in against a team like Durand, whose players thrive on driving a fast pace. According to Luer, it forced the Bulldogs to speed up to get back in the game, which was a direct contradiction to his plan to keep the pace slow for his team.
The pace coupled with Durand’s full-court press led to multiple turnovers which led to easy buckets for the visiting team.
The Panthers were tied with Colfax at 4-0 as they headed into the game, while Boyceville was at the opposite end of the standings with a conference record of 0-4. The home team made a dismal showing of the first half, trailing 30-9 as both teams broke to the locker room for the half.
Boyceville trailed 22-3 with just 5:40 to go in the opening half, and the three points were courtesy of Luke Knudtson, who hit the second of two free tries from the line and then dropped one in the bucket with under nine minutes to play.
Bryce Boda tipped in a layup on a break down the lane at the 5:40 mark to give the Bulldogs their first basket in over four minutes to make the game 22-5. Being off balance did not stop him from hitting a jumper at 3:57 to make the board read 24-7, but the team could only get two more points before the break.
The Bulldogs were able to maintain a much better pace in the second half, scoring 32 points to Durand’s 39, but it was a case of “too little, too late” for the team as they succumbed to the cats.
Knudtson nailed a two-point shot, and them backed it up with a three in the opening minute of the second half to make the score 32-14, but the Panthers dropped in a three-point shot on the next possession.
While the Boyceville senior’s opening volleys seemed to provide a spark for the Bulldogs, who began to move things better and find some good looks. So much so that the Dogs went on a 12-7 run in the next few minutes to make the game 44-28 with nearly 12 minutes still to play.
But the spark never became flame, and instead fizzled out on the Boyceville squad, as Durand went on 20-5 run to lead the game 64-33 with 4:26 to go in the matchup. Logan Knudtson and Cooper Boesl hit a pair of field goals in the final minutes, but it just was not enough, sending the Panthers back home with the W.
Knudtson copped the game’s highest individual score after logged 17 points, while Bryce Boda put together 10 for the Dogs. Jayson Gonzales provided six points, and Cooper Boesl and Logan Knudtson added four apiece.
The Panthers’ top player was Kobe Humphrey, who reeled in 15 for Durand.
DURAND 69, BOYCEVILLE 41
Durand……………………………..30 39 — 69
Boyceville…………………………. 9 32 — 41
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Durand (28-6-6-69) — B. Sabelko 3-0-1-6, F. Weiss 1-0-1-2, C. O’Keefe 2-2-1-7, E. Bauer 5-1-1-13, R. Radle 2-0-1-5, T. Tulip 5-1-1-11, I. Whitwam 3-3-0-10, K. Humphrey 7-0-0-15.
Boyceville (18-3-14-41) — B. Boda 4-1-4-10, J. Reisimer 0-0-2-0, C. Boesl 2-0-1-4, Lo. Knudtson 2-0-0-4, J. Gonzales 3-0-5-6, Lu. Knudtson 7-2-2-17.
D — C. O’Keefe 1, E. Bauer 2, I. Whitwam 1, K. Humphrey 1; B — B. Boda 1, Lu. Knudtson 1.
Luer said the Bulldogs got off to a slow start against the Cardinals last Friday night, and could not make up the difference in the second half.
As he put it in his emailed comments: “we brought our defense, but we left our offense at home.”
The best example of this would be the score at halftime. Boyceville nabbed just 12 points in the first half, while the Spring Valley squad picked up 24. The 19 points the Bulldogs are credited with in the final 18 minutes were not enough to get past the Cardinals, who moved to 3-3 in the Dunn-St. Croix.
Luke Knudtson led the game in scoring with 14 points, but was the only Boyceville player to score double digits. Logan Knutson logged six in the game, Bryce Boda scored four, Bryce Larson was three for three from the line, and Cooper Boesl and Jayson Gonzales tied with two points each.
Spring Valley’s Aaron Borgerding led the Cardinals with 13 points.
BOYCEVILLE 31, SPRING VALLEY 42
Boyceville……………………..12 19 — 31
Spring Valley………………….24 18 — 42
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Boyceville (13-3-11-31) — B. Boda 2-0-1-4, J. Reisimer 0-0-1-0, C. Boesl 1-0-3-2, Lo. Knudtson 2-0-2-6, J. Gonzales 1-0-2-2, B. Larson 0-3-0-3, Lu. Knudtson 7-0-2-14,
Spring Valley (18-5-10-42) — M. Bauer 2-0-1-6, J. Walkky 0-0-1-0, A. Borgerding 6-1-0-13, L. McMurrin 0-1-0-1, C. Anderson 0-0-4-0, D. Bosshart 2-2-2-6, T. Kado 4-1-2-9, Z. Williams 4-0-0-8.
B — Lo. Knudtson 2; SV — M. Bauer 2. [/emember_protected]