By Cara L. Dempski
BOYCEVILLE — One Dunn-St. Croix coach described this season’s Bulldog boys’ basketball team as “scrappy,” and those watching the Dogs play Elk Mound last week might agree.
It seemed Ben Luer’s Boyceville squad, who are definitely turning up its play as the playoff approach, did not want to let the Mounders get the better of them in the January 30 matchup, and forced the visiting team to play a full five periods before falling on a last-second shot from Elk Mound for the 68-67 final.
[emember_protected] The Bulldogs next hosted Elmwood/Plum City February 2. Luer said the matchup was a tough one, but credited Boyceville’s defensive improvements with picking up the 57-47 win.
Boyceville is 5-11 overall and has a 2-8 record in the Dunn-St. Croix. The Bulldogs head to Mondovi February 8, and then host Glenwood City February 13.
You have to give the Bulldogs credit: they played hard against Elk Mound.
Boyceville trailed the Mounders at home January 30 by eight points at halftime, but held the Mounders to just 20 points in the final 18 minutes while racking up 28 more of their own to tie at 50 when regulation ended.
And then tied up the first overtime to force a second.
It was Elk Mound who tied the second extra period to force a third, and by then most watchers realized the contest was going to be a true fight to the finish.
The Bulldogs were up 67-66 with just 7.9 seconds left to play when a timeout was called. No one saw the exact chain of events once the game got back underway, but Elk Mound’s Ben Lambele somehow wound up standing underneath the Mounders’ basket with just enough time for fellow EM player Ryan More to dish him the ball.
Ben Lambele then just pushed up on his toes and flipped the ball up, it bounced off the glass, and dropped through the hoop for a 68-67 Elk Mound win as the buzzer sounded.
Coach Luer said he was glad the team played well, but his frustration was clear afterward.
“It was a long game,” he started. I thought our guys played well; it was a good game, and both teams really fought.”
He then smiled somewhat ruefully, and finished with “It’s the way things have been going for us this season. We’ve had probably five losses within two or four points, and it’s hard to keep recovering.”
The night’s top scoring effort belonged to Bryce Boda, who reeled in 28 points against the Mounders. He was joined by Luke Knudtson with 18, Cooper Boesl with 11, Jayson Gonzales with five, Bryce Larson with three, and Logan Knudtson with two.
Elk Mound’s Ben Lambele took credit for the Mounders’ top score with 22.
ELK MOUND 68, BOYCEVILLE 67
Elk Mound………….30 20 5 6 7 — 68
Boyceville…………..22 28 5 6 6 — 67
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Elk Mound (26-9-20-68) — R. Mohr 3-2-0-9, B. Rosenthal 5-3-3-15, B. Redwine 1-0-4-2, D. Curry 0-0-1-0, B. Lambele 8-3-2-22, D. Black 2-1-5-6, B. Lew 3-0-2-6, M. Kinblom 4-0-1-8, N. Lew 0-0-1-0, C. Mavis 0-0-1-0.
Boyceville (23-13-16-67) — B. Boda 9-3-4-28, Lo. Knudtson 1-0-0-2, C. Boesl 2-7-3-11, J. Gonzales 1-3-4-5, B. Larson 1-0-1-3, Lu. Knudtson 9-0-4-18.
EM — R. Mohr 1, B. Rosenthal 2, B. Lambele 3, D. Black 1; B — B. Boda 7, B. Larson 1.
According to Luer, the Bulldogs’ home contest against Elmwood/Plum City last Friday was not the prettiest of games.
“I don’t believe both teams played their best basketball, but we made some plays late to pull it out,” he said later.
It may be that Boyceville senior Jayson Gonzales was the hero of the game, as he made four trips to the free throw line late in the game, and drained all eight charity shots. The other hero? That is likely to be the Bulldogs’ defensive play, which Luer believes will give the squad a chance to win their final four games before tournament season.
Boyceville’s ultimate goal? Keep improving defensively as they stare down playoffs over the next few weeks.
The Bulldogs had a two-point advantage at halftime, but the Wolves kept fighting their way back into the game until the final few minutes.
Senior Luke Knudtson led scoring with 20 points, Bryce Boda added 16, and Gonzales picked up 12 points overall. Logan Knudtson contributed six points, Cooper Boesl scored two, and Bryce Larson nabbed one.
Elmwood/Plum City’s highest-scoring player was Tyler Maxwell with 13.
ELMWOOD/PLUM CITY 47, BOYCEVILLE 57
Elmwood/Plum City……………19 28 — 47
Boyceville…………………………21 36 — 57
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Elmwood/Plum City (19-3-18-47) — N. Gansluckner 2-0-2-4, N. Forster 4-0-4-9, Z. Phillips 1-0-1-3, J. Glampe 2-0-1-6, T. Maxwell 4-3-5-13, L. Baier 5-0-5-10, C. Heath 1-0-0-2.
Boyceville (19-15-8-57) — B. Boda 6-2-0-16, C. Boesl 1-0-4-2, Lo. Knudtson 2-0-1-6, J. Gonzales 2-8-3-12, B. Larson 0-1-0-1, Lu. Knudtson 8-4-0-20.
EPC — N. Forster 1, Z. Phillips 1, J. Glampe 2, T. Maxwell 2; B — B. Boda 2, Lo. Knudtson 2. [/emember_protected]