By Cara L. Dempski
ELK MOUND — The Mounder boys seem to have a thing for overtime lately.
Coach Mike Kessler and his squad started last week with the second of three games in a row at home after copping a win over the Colfax boys just days before. The Mounders welcomed Chetek-Weyerhaeuser to their gym February 6, and it may have taken two overtime periods, but the home team stepped away at the end of the night with a 68-65 win.
[emember_protected] Elk Mound faced Elmwood/Plum City at home February 8. Despite leading by just four points at intermission, the Mounders carried off a 59-42 win over the Wolves to remain in second place in the conference standings.
The orange and black were back on the hardwood at Spring Valley February 13, and will head to Glenwood City February 16.
Kessler will find out where his team falls on the tournament brackets February 17 during seeding, and hosts Spring Valley February 19. Elk Mound will round out the conference season with a February 22 home contest against Mondovi.
The Mounders are currently 7-3 in the Dunn-St. Croix and 9-9 overall.
Same story, different day.
“The kids came out of the gates pretty slow, and we got down big early,” Kessler said in his comments the day after the Mounders’ February 6 win over the Bulldogs. “We were able to claw back to within nine at halftime, but then came out and dug ourselves into a hole again to start the second half.”
You might wonder how Elk Mound wound up winning the Monday non-conference matchup if the team was down in both halves. Kessler said it was due to some solid efforts from players like Nathaniel Schreiber, Conner Mavis and Dylan Curry, all of whom came off the bench to provide some relief for the team.
It also helps that Dylan Black hit a bit three to tie things up late in regulation and send the game into the first extra period. Ben Lambele hit another outside shot for three to end the first OT with another tie.
From there on out, the team relied on defensive stops and free throws to take the 68-65 lead.
And even then, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser nearly knotted things up to force a third overtime period. Elk Mound was still thanking its lucky stars the following morning that the three-point shot did not fall, leaving them with the lead as time drained away.
Lambele logged the game’s highest score at 21 points, and had plenty of contributions from his teammates. Blake Rosenthal assisted with 14 points, Dylan Curry with 13, Black with 11, Brett Lew with five, and Brandon Redwine and Conner Mavis with two points each.
Chetek-Weyerhaeuser sophomore Kyle Bilodeau led the Bulldogs with 19 points.
CHETEK-WEYERHAEUSER 65, ELK MOUND 68
Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 18 8 7 — 65
Elk Mound……………..23 27 8 10 — 68
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Chetek-Weyerhaeuser (26-8-17-65) — A. Kaminski 3-3-0-11, J. Newell 5-2-3-14, C. Hanson 1-0-1-2, B. Schofield 2-0-4-4, P. Gilbertson 1-0-1-2, A. Loy 5-2-4-13, K. Bilodeau 9-1-4-19.
Elk Mound (23-10-16-68) — R. Mohr 0-0-2-0, B. Rosenthal 5-0-3-14, B. Redwine 1-0-0-2, D. Curry 4-2-4-13, B. Lambele 9-2-3-21, D. Black 3-4-2-11, B. Lew 1-2-1-5, N. Schreiber 0-0-1-0, C. Mavis 1-0-0-2.
CW — A. Kaminski 2, J. Newell 2, A. Loy 1; EM — B. Rosenthal 4, D. Curry 3, B. Lambele 1, D. Black 1, B. Lew 1.
Elk Mound’s Ryan Mohr has a unique layup shot when he’s rushing side to side under the basket.
He pushes himself up in the air, holding the ball skyward as he crosses underneath the net, and as he’s falling back to the floor, he sort of flicks his hand to send it back over his head. More often than not, the ball falls through the hoop as his feet hit the floor.
It happened at least twice in the Mounders’ 59-42 win over Elmwood/Plum City at home February 8, and it happened very quickly.
That is something Kessler has been trying to work away from with his team: forcing a faster pace of play versus slowing things down and setting up good shots.
“Sometimes I think the ball’s on fire with how quickly they want to get it out of their hands,” the Mounder coach said in his post-game interview.
Another thing he’s been working with? Keeping the action on the floor fluid. There were frequent calls of “motion” from the Elk Mound helmsman, who stated his belief a team can never move enough on the floor.
Mohr picked up six points in the game, but it was Lambele who led the team effort with 13 points. Rosenthal contributed with 10 points, Curry had eight, Brett Lew was just behind Mohr with five, Redwine, Black, Colton Ward, Nate Lew, and Mavis tied with three apiece, and Nathaniel Schreiber contributed two.
Elmwood/Plum City’s Luke Baier copped the game’s leading individual score with 19 points.
ELMWOOD/PLUM CITY 42, ELK MOUND 59
Elmwood/Plum City……………23 19 — 42
Elk Mound………………………..27 32 — 59
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Elmwood/Plum City (18-3-13-42) — N. Gansluckner 1-0-0-2, N. Forster 1-0-2-2, Z. Phillips 2-0-3-5, R. Brunner 1-0-0-3, J. Glampe 1-0-1-2, T. Maxwell 2-0-5-5, D. Binkowski 0-0-1-0, L. Baier 8-3-1-19, C. Heath 2-0-0-4.
Elk Mound (23-4-9-59) — R. Mohr 3-0-0-6, B. Rosenthal 4-0-2-10, B. Redwine 1-1-0-3, D. Curry 3-0-4-8, B. Lambele 6-0-1-13, D. Black 1-0-0-3, B. Lew 1-2-1-5, C. Ward 1-0-0-3, N. Schreiber 1-0-1-2, N. Lew 1-0-0-3, C. Mavis 1-1-0-3.
EPC — Z. Phillips 1, R. Brunner 1, T. Maxwell; EM — B. Rosenthal 2, D. Curry 2, B. Lambele 1, D. Black 1, B. Lew 1, C. Ward 1, N. Lew 1. [/emember_protected]