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By Amber Hayden
ELK MOUND— For the Elk Mound girls’ basketball team, winning in the Dunn-St.Croix has become a standard after winning back-to-back titles in the 2015-16 and the 2016-17 campaigns, but last season head coach Jordan Kongshaug and his Mounders’ team fell to third place as Durand took the conference crown followed rival Colfax.
Kongshaug is in his ninth season with the Mounders and holds a record of 125-64, and guided Elk Mound to a 18-6 overall record and a 11-3 conference mark in 2017-18.
“I think we have the potential to be a very good defensive team, our kids work hard on the defensive end,” Kongshaug commented. “We will just need to work to make sure that we take care of the basketball to limit turnovers.”
The Mounders lost only five players to graduation last spring.
Allie Weber clenched a second-team, all-conference honor in her last season with Elk Mound. Weber was a great shooter, according to Kongshaug, allowing them to stretch the floor offensively. Weber finished her senior season with 26 of 42 shots from the line, 84 rebounds and 55 steals.
Graduating senior and point guard, Hannah Cedarblade, was solid defensively against the opposing teams with 55 defensive rebounds, 52 steals and seven three-point shots.
Other players lost to graduation were Madysen Borofka and Crista Sweeney. Borofka was a shooting guard for the Mounders with a .286 percent in field goals, Sweeney, a center, finished her season with 164 points overall and 12 assists.
Elk Mound looks to return some heavy hitters from last season including first-team, all-conference player Morgan Radtke. Radtke put in 356 points overall and will provide a strong rebounding and scoring punch for the 2018-19 squad.
Joining Radtke will be Ashley Gunderson-Morris at the forward position. During the 2017-18 season, Gunderson-Morris made 35 of 56 shots from the line and had 30 assists.
Hailey Blaskowski played a significant amount of varsity time last season and will look to start at the guard position. She had 31 steals against her opponents and 24 defensive rebounds.
Also returning to the Mounders for the upcoming season — Kayla Bridges, Victoria Fasbender, Alana and Brooke Plaszcz, Sydney Simpson, Sophie Cedarblade and Taya Schaefer.
“They all have varsity experience and will be called on to fill significant roles this season,” coach Kongshaug said.
The goal for the season is to keep getting better so the Mounders can be playing their best basketball in March, said Kongshaug, Elk Mound will have to value the basketball.
“If we turn the ball over less than ten times a game, we usually have a good chance to win,” the Mounders’ head coach explained.
The Durand Panthers and Colfax Vikings will look to be the toughest competition for the Mounders with both teams returning players that allowed for deep runs in the WIAA Division 4 tournament.
Elk Mound will begin their season with two home games, facing Fall Creek on November 15 and Bloomer on November 20. The Mounders will start their conference run against the Boyceville Bulldogs on November 29 in Boyceville.
Lydia Rubenzer, Olivia Schreiber, Alana Plaszcz, Victoria Fasbender, Brook Plaszcz, Ashley Gunderson-Morris, Morgan Radtke, Taya Schaefer, Kayla Bridgesm, Isabella Hollister, Olivia Schindler, Emily Lawrence, Lexi Lawrence, Hannah Larson, Kallee Rhude, Sophie Cedarblade, Hailey Blaskowski, Sydney Simpson