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By Amber Hayden
Thanks to postponements caused by winter storms and cold, the Mounder men’s basketball team had another busy week, playing in-league games against Colfax, Glenwood City and Mondovi.
After a home loss to rival Colfax in a Monday make-up, Elk Mound again found itself on the short end of the score in Glenwood City last Thursday evening, February 14. The Mounders were their own worst enemy as turnovers and missed shots helped the Hilltoppers pull off the 50 to 45 upset.
The Mounders finally put away a victory the following evening, February 15, in Mondovi. Sophomore Ryan Bohl sank some big baskets from behind the three-point arc to help lead the Mounders to a 69-51 win over Buffaloes.
After going 1-2 last week, Elk Mound was 6-6 and in fourth place in the Dunn-St. Croix and 8-11 overall.
In a quick turnaround, Elk Mound was to host that very same Mondovi squad at its home court this past Monday, February 18, in a rescheduled game. They will then close out the regular season with a pair of road games against Durand on Thursday, February 21, and Bloomer on Saturday, February 23.
With just a few days rest, Ninth-seeded Elk Mound will kick off the 2019 WIAA Division 3 boys’ basketball tournament with a road game against #8 Somerset on Tuesday, February 26. The winner will play top seed and defending state champion Prescott in a Friday, March 1 regional semifinal contest.
Turnovers plagued the Mounder men last Thursday evening, February 14, in Glenwood City. The Mounders attempted a rally in the closing minutes of the game but the Hilltoppers held them off to gain a 50-45 upset victory.
“We turned the ball over way too many times, and did not knock down shots,” said Elk Mound’s head coach Michael Kessler.
Although the Mounders struggled to sink a basket from all areas of the floor, they managed to go into half time with a 20 all tie with the Hilltoppers.
Glenwood City grew its lead to as many as eight points in the second.
The Mounder rallied and cut their deficit to three points twice in the final 75 seconds of the game but the Hilltoppers sank their free throws to hold on for the five-point victory.
Both teams shot well from the free throw line with the Mounders netting seven of nine attempts while the Toppers sank 11 of their 16 charity tosses
Senior Marcus Kinblom stepped up to lead the Mounders with 12 points. Ryan Bohl and Colton Ward each had nine points for Elk Mound. Bohl finished with three treys and Ward had a triple and was four-of-four from the charity stripe.
“We struggled shooting from just about every area of the floor,” explained Kessler.
Although Elk Mound hit eight three-pointers compared to four for Glenwood City, the Mounders made just eight other field goals with the Toppers hitting for 12.
Struggling to stay out of foul trouble, Mounders’ Brett Lew, who was whistled for four fouls overall, managed only six points on a pair of second-half threes in last Thursday’s contest. Nate Lew tallied five points and Blaze Todd finished with four.
Elk Mound.…..…….20 25 – 45
Glenwood City.……20 30 – 50
— R. Bohl 3-0-0-9, N. Lew 2-1-2-5, C. Ward 2-4-3-9, B. Lew 2-0-4-6, B. Todd 2-0-2-4, M. Kinblom 5-2-2-12.
B. Hallquist 4-4-3-13, D. Hierlmeier 1-1-0-3, D. Loring 2-0-0-6, G. Janson 1-0-0-3, H. DeSmith 6-3-3-16, E. Hanson 1-0-3-2, T. Davis 2-3-4-7.
R. Bohl 3, C. Ward 1, B. Lew 2; GC
— B. Hallquist 1, D. Loring 2, G. Janson 1, H. DeSmith 1.
In its third and final game of the week, Elk Mound made the trek to Mondovi to take on the Buffaloes last Friday evening, February 15, and pulled out a 69-51 win to snap its three-game losing skid.
“Got some great contributions from our bench, and worked the ball inside out against their zone early in the game,” said coach Kessler.
Sophomore Ryan Bohl has been receiving more varsity floor time in recent weeks and his hard work paid off against Mondovi. Bohl netted five three-point baskets, scored a double and was two-of-two from the line to give him a career and season-high of 19 points.
Senior Marcus Kinblom scored 19 points for Elk Mound, who led 37-24 at the half and outscored the host Buffaloes 32-27 over the final 18 minutes of play.
“That action led to open shots for our guys on the perimeter and we were able to knock them down,” Kessler stated in regards to the defensive and offensive action.
Rian Flynn and Colton Ward helped out with five points apiece, Rian Flynn hit a trey and double while Ward hit made a triple and was two-of-two from the charity stripe.
Senior forward, Brett Lew, found his way to the net for nine points against the Buffaloes, while Cade Hanson and Nate Lew each had four points and Jake Mentzel made a triple.
Elk Mound.…..…….37 32 – 69
Mondovi.….….……24 27 – 51
R. Bohl 6-2-0-19, R. Flynn 2-0-2-5, N. Lew 1-2-4-4, C. Ward 1-2-4-5, M. Jenson 0-1-0-1, C. Hanson 2-0-1-4, B. Lew 3-2-1-9, J. Mentzel 1-0-3-3, M. Kinblom 6-7-2-19.
— B. Christopherson 4-0-3-10, A. Hoepner 6-2-3-15, R. Fath 2-2-2-8, O. Schultz 6-1-5-13, K. Johnston 0-2-1-2.
— R. Bohl 5, R. Flynn 1, C. Ward 1, B. Lew 1, J. Mentzel 1; M
— B. Christopherson 3, A. Hoepner 1, R. Fath 2.