By Cara L. Dempski
ELK MOUND — The Elk Mound boys’ basketball team spent some quality time on their home court last week, playing a tough non-conference opponent before taking on the Dunn-St. Croix leader.
Coach Mike Kessler and his Mounders welcomed the Middle Border leader, Prescott Cardinals, to their home gym last Tuesday, January 23 after the game was postponed the previous evening due to the January 22 winter storm that dropped up to a foot of snow across the area. The Cards, ranked 10th in last week’s Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association’s Division 3 poll, threw their own “white out” at the Mounders for a 70-46 win.
With little time to recover, the Elk Mound boys needed to redirect their focus for another tough contest two nights later. Durand headed north to the EMHS gym for a Thursday, January 25 conference showdown. Despite holding a brief lead deep in the second half, the home team could not finish the job and lost to the league-leading Panthers 51-46, who improved to 7-0.
Elk Mound is currently 4-3 and tied for third with Spring Valley in the D-SC and 5-9 overall. The Mounder boys’ took a road trip to Boyceville Tuesday to close out January’s schedule, and will face rival Colfax at home February 2. The Mounders will host Chetek-Weyerhaeuser next Tuesday, February 6 in a non-conference game before welcoming Elmwood/Plum City’s Wolves February 8.
The best thing about Elk Mound’s Marcus Kinblom is he is just a junior.
At six feet, one inch, Kinblom presents off court as quiet, thoughtful, and unassuming, but that was not the kid Prescott was treated to January 23 on the Mounders’ home hardwood.
That player was someone head coach Mike Kessler was impressed with.
“I thought Marcus had a tremendous game on both ends of the court, playing very physical and taking the ball aggressively to the hole,” the Elk Mound coach said the next day.
The newfound aggression showed in the box scores, as Kinblom led Elk Mound with 14 points, even though the team was overflown by the Cardinals 70-46 for the loss.
It was a 12-point game at the half, but the Mounders fell behind early in the second and were not able to get their feet back under them. The team battled back to within 14 points before falling away in the 24-point loss.
Kinblom was assisted toward the final score by eight points from senior Ben Lambele, seven from Brett Lew, six from Brandon Redwine, five from Dylan Black, four from Logan Bergh, and two from Blake Rosenthal.
Prescott’s Petey Brookshaw showed off his shooting skills by racking up 25 points for the Cardinals (8-0, 14-2) despite being forced into some difficult spots by the Mounder defense.
PRESCOTT 70, ELK MOUND 46
Prescott……………………………34 36 — 70
Elk Mound………………………..22 24 — 46
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Prescott (29-7-14-70) — P. Brookshaw 10-1-1-25, J. Roosen 3-4-3-10, D. Rieken 2-0-0-4, P. Nielsen 7-1-2-16, B. Tayson 2-0-2-4, J. Doffing 1-0-2-2, W. Bartsch 3-1-4-7, M. Holte 1-0-0-2.
Elk Mound (20-4-13-46) — R. Mohr 0-0-3-0, B. Rosenthal 1-0-1-2, B. Redwine 3-0-1-6, B. Lambele 4-0-1-8, D. Black 1-2-2-5, B. Lew 2-2-0-7, L. Bergh 2-0-3-4, M. Kinblom 7-0-2-14.
P — P. Brookshaw 4, P. Nielsen 1; EM — D. Black 1, B. Lew 1.
If you saw just the second half of Elk Mound’s home contest against Durand last Thursday night, you had to admit the Mounders played a heck of a ball game.
That, of course, assumes the first 18 minutes were just as intense as the final ones, and Elk Mound head coach Mike Kessler admitted they were.
Kessler’s team trailed by five coming out of halftime, but did a great job handling the Panthers’ full-court press by employing one of their own and using every opportunity to get a hand in and take away the ball. The roar of the crowd when the Mounders went ahead on a field goal from Ben Lambele was testament to just how good the game had been up to that point.
Still, the win was not to be, as the Elk Mound boys fell behind on a series of clutch free throws in the final minutes to suffer the 51-46 loss.
The Mounder coach was pleased with his team’s overall performance.
“We feel like we’ve got a lot of good pieces, and we continue to move in the right direction. We’re competing with some pretty darn good teams,” Kessler said after the game.
Junior Brett Lew made some big shots to take the top scoring spot for the Mounders with 12 points spread over four three-pointers. Ben Lambele continued his streak in the double digits with 10 points of his own, and Blake Rosenthal and Dylan Curry scored six points each.
Brandon Redwine was good for four points, Marcus Kinblom scored three, Ryan Mohr and Logan Bergh each put up two, and Dylan Black hit the front end of two from the line for one.
Durand’s Kobe Humphrey put together 12 points of his own to tie with Lew as the game’s high-scorers.
DURAND 51, ELK MOUND 46
Durand…………………………..25 26 — 51
Elk Mound………………………20 26 — 46
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Durand (16-16-13-51) — F. Weiss 1-3-2-5, C. O’Keefe 2-1-0-6, E. Bauer 1-0-1-3, R. Radle 3-4-4-11, T. Tulip 3-4-3-10, I. Whitwam 2-0-2-4, K. Humphrey 4-4-1-12.
Elk Mound (18-2-17-46) — R. Mohr 1-0-0-2, B. Rosenthal 3-0-3-6, B. Redwine 2-0-2-4, D. Curry 2-0-4-6, B. Lambele 4-0-2-10, D. Black 0-1-0-1, B. Lew 4-0-1-12, L. Bergh 1-0-2-2, M. Kinblom 1-1-2-3, N. Lew 0-0-1-0.
D — C. O’Keefe 1, E. Bauer 1, R. Radle 1; EM — D. Curry 2, B. Lambele 2, B. Lew 4.