By Cara L. Dempski
GLENWOOD CITY — It has been quite some time since the Glenwood City boys’ basketball team has topped Elk Mound on the hardwood.
In fact, it had been just over seven years since the Toppers held sway over the Mounders.
It was February 7, 2011, Brent Wink was the head coach, and the Glenwood City squad bested the Mounders 64-57 in Elk Mound.
Since then, the scores have looked somewhat lopsided in favor of Elk Mound, including a 52-41 loss on the Mounders’ home court January 16.
But Glenwood City’s 13-game winless streak against Elk Mound ended last Friday at home when the Hilltoppers first forced an overtime period, and then scored enough in the final period to cop a 61-59 win over Elk Mound and move to 7-6 and into a fourth-place tie with Colfax in the boys’ Dunn-St. Croix standings.
[emember_protected] “We’ll take it,” head coach Tristan Kittilson said with a grin to open his post-game comments. “I wish Riley (Schutz) would have made the free throw in regulation to win it – that would have been a little bit sweet on senior night for him – but we’ll take it.”
The Glenwood City squad dominated off the glass against the Mounders, accruing 32 of their final tally on inside shots. Another 18 points came from three-point shots, and a further 11 were grabbed from the line, where the team shot for 68.7 percent.
The Hilltoppers took a 7-3 lead over Elk Mound at 12:12, and seemed determined to hold on to it, despite the Mounders knotting up the score at nine with 10:26 to play in the first half. The GC boys would eventually carry a 32-26 lead into halftime.
The Mounders came out of the locker room looking more ready to compete, and tied the game at 40 with 11:05 left in regulation before taking a 42-40 lead on a field goal from Ben Lambele.
Elk Mound would control much of the rest of the game until the closing 90 seconds, when a pair of charity throws from Schutz would give the Glenwood squad a 54-52 lead. The Mounders seized the lead back with 1:00 left to play when senior Ryan Mohr pegged a rolling three-point shot to lift the Mounders over the Hilltoppers 55-54.
Mohr drew a foul from Peter Hill with 18.7 left, but hit just the front end of the two-shot trip to the line, making the score 56-54. Schutz tied up the game at 4.1 seconds with a inside shot, but failed to hit the and-one, sending the game into overtime.
The Elk Mound boys nabbed the tip-off, but could not capitalize on the possession, turning it over to the Hilltoppers, who picked up two on a bucket from Schutz. Elk Mound responded with a three-point shot from Mohr to take a 59-58 lead with 1:51 to play, but then could not get a shot to go in again in the final minutes.
Glenwood City’s win came on a series of charity shots, with Dillon Hierlmeier landing two after pulling the foul from Lambele, and then Schutz hitting the first of two on another foul off Lambele with 9.1 to play.
Schutz was the game’s high-scoring player with 28 points, while Hierlmeier added another 16. Hadin DeSmith logged nine points, Jake Nelson scored three, Hill and Tanner Davis were good for two each, and Quinn Taylor hit the back end of a pair of free throws for one.
Elk Mound’s Blake Rosenthal led the visiting team with 19 points.
Kittilson said the Toppers were looking forward to a tough road contest at Bloomer February 19, and will complete the season on the road against Elmwood/Plum City February 22.
The team drew a number-eight seed in the WIAA Division 4 playoffs, and will face Colfax at home next Tuesday, February 27 to open regional tournament play. The winner of that game will take on top-seeded Clear Lake on Friday, March 2.
ELK MOUND 59, GLENWOOD CITY 61
Elk Mound……………………..26 30 3 — 59
Glenwood City………………..32 24 6 — 61
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-T)
Elk Mound (23-3-14-59) — R. Mohr 6-1-3-15, B. Rosenthal 7-0-3-19, B. Redwine 2-0-1-4, D. Curry 3-0-1-7, B. Lambele 3-2-3-9, D. Black 2-0-3-5.
Glenwood City (22-11-12-61) — D. Hierlmeier 5-2-1-16, P. Hill 1-0-2-2, J. Nelson 1-0-1-3, H. DeSmith 3-2-4-9, Q. Taylor 0-1-0-1, R. Schutz 11-6-3-28, T. Davis 1-0-1-2.
EM — R. Mohr 2, B. Rosenthal 5, D. Curry 1, D. Black 1, B. Lambele 1; GC — D. Hierlmeier 4, J. Nelson 1, H. DeSmith 1. [/emember_protected]