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By Amber Hayden
ELK MOUND — A double-digit lead following the first half of play helped Elk Mound earn a 51-42 Dunn-St. Croix boys’ basketball win against visiting Elmwood/Plum City last Friday night.
“We defended the ball like crazy in the first half, and I was extremely proud of them for that,” said head coach Michael Kessler. “On a night when we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, the defense was much needed.”
The Mounders built a 23-10 advantage in the first 18 minutes of the December 14 contest.
The opening minutes of the game were filled with shots but few points for both Elk Mound and Elmwood/Plum City.
Senior Rian Flynn finally put the Mounders on the scoreboard first with a trey at 14:56 of the first half. The Mounders then embarked on an 8-0 run before Nic Forester sank his only points of the night and the Wolves first bucket to make the score 8-2.
Flynn finished his evening with a triple and a bonus shot.
Marcus Kinblom was the Mounders’ driving force against the Wolves as he finished 16 points to lead the Mounders. He netted six doubles and was four-of-six from the charity stripe with one of his doubles coming one minute into the second half.
The zone defense that Elmwood/Plum City employed throughout the game was not enough to shut down Elk Mound, who countered with their own man-to-man coverage.
“Although EPC scored more in the second half, we were also happy with the contested shots we made them hit,” Kessler explained. “I thought our patience and shot selection was tremendous throughout the game.”
Senior Brett Lew was also a strong contributor for the Mounders’ offense finishing with 13 points which brought the senior guard’s total to 58 points for the 2018-19 season. Lew also nabbed seven rebounds and had three steals.
In the closing minute of the game, the Wolves sent Marcus Kinblom, Brett Lew, and Blaze Todd to the foul line, hurting any chance of taking the win away from Elk Mound.
Blaze Todd, who hit the Mounders’ final basket for two with 7.7 left, tallied eight points to go with a pair of rebounds and steals.
Adding to the Mounders total were teammates Colton Ward with a triple and two bonus points, Cade Hanson and Rian Flynn each had a triple and a foul shot for four points a piece and Nate Lew scored two.
“I was really proud of the way the guys came out of the locker room to start the second half, and really thought they brought great energy and executions,” said Kessler. “We look forward to a really tough test on the road at Prescott before we enjoy some time off for the holidays.”
The Mounders have a seven-day break and will hit the court again this Friday, December 21, in Prescott, to take on the defending Division 3 state champions.
ELK MOUND 51, PLUM CITY/ELMWOOD 42
Elk Mound……………….………..23 28 – 51
Plum City/Elmwood……..…….10 32 – 42
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-TP)
Elk Mound — R. Flynn 1-1-1-4, N. Lew 1-0-3-2, C. Ward 1-2-2-5, C. Hanson 1-1-4-3, B. Lew 5-2-2-12, B. Todd 2-4-1-8, M. Kinblom 6-4-1-16.
Plum City/Elmwood — N. Forester 1-0-4-2, Z. Phillips 1-0-5-3, R. Brunner 0-2-1-2, J. Glampe 4-0-2-10, T. Maxwell 6-2-2-16, J. Bruner 1-1-0-3, L. Webb 2-0-3-4, B. Huebner 1-0-1-2.
THREE-POINTERS EM— R. Flynn 1, C. Ward 1, B. Lew 1; PCE— Z. Phillips 1, J. Glampe 2, T. Maxwell 3.