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By Amber Hayden
GALESVILLE — The Elk Mound girls’ basketball team’s upset bid for a regional championship came up just short.
Trailing by only four point at the intermission of their WIAA Division 3 regional title game played last Monday evening, February 25 in Galesville, the unranked and fifth-seeded Lady Mounders matched the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau (G-E-T) Red Hawks, who are ranked fifth in the state D3 Wissports.net coaches poll and a top playoff seed, point-for-point in the second half but were unable to make up that halftime deficit and ended their season with a close 60-56 loss.
It was the third consecutive Coulee Conference squad that Elk Mound (16-8) had faced in tournament play. The Mounders beat Viroqua and Westby to earn a shot at Coulee Conference champion Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau in the regional title game which had been postponed from the previous Saturday (Feb. 23) due to a winter storm.
The Red Hawks (24-2) went on to earn a trip to this week’s girls’ state basketball championship in Green Bay.
Despite the season-ending loss, head coach Jordan Kongshaug couldn’t of been more proud of how the Mounder Ladies performed last Monday.
“It was a great high school basketball game,” said Kongshaug. “Our kids left everything on the floor against a very good G-E-T team, but we came up just a bit short.”
Less than one week after breaking her career- and season-high scoring mark, junior Sophie Cedarblade found herself not only breaking her records again but leading the Mounders with a stellar 24-point performance. A majority of which came from outside the arc, which has been her hot spot all season, as she netted seven triples and went three-of-four from the charity stripe.
For senior Morgan Radtke, it was a bitter sweet ending to her high school career as she put up 17 points against the Red Hawks.
Radtke has been tough on both ends as her height has played a huge factor in her rebounding ability against any opponent the Mounders have come up against. She finished her evening with six doubles and was five-of-eight from the foul line.
“I particularly want to thank our seniors Kayla Bridges, Victoria Fasbender, Alana and Brook Plaszcz, Morgan Radtke and Sydney Simpson for their hard work, they will be missed,” Kongshaug stated. “I am very proud of their efforts this season.”
Sydney Simpson, Kayla Bridges and Victoria Fasbender each finished the night with two points a piece. Simpson and Fasbender hit the backboards for a two and Bridges was two-of-three from the line.
The four-point deficit came in the first 18 minutes of the contest as Elk Mound went into half time 23-27 and were unable to push past a tied point tally in the second half against the Red Hawks.
After nursing an injured ankle against Viroqua and Westby, Alana Plaszcz came back to finish her high school basketball career with six points, she netted a trey, a lone bucket from underneath and, was one-of-two from the foul line.
Hailey Blaskowski was the last of the Mounders to put any points on the scoreboard with a shot from the inside and a lone foul shot.
ELK MOUND 56, G-E-T 60
Elk Mound……..……………23 33 – 56
G-E-T………….……………….27 33 – 60
TEAM STATISTICS (FG-FT-F-TP)
Elk Mound — A. Plaszcz 2-1-3-6, S. Simpson 1-0-1-2, H. Blaskowski 1-1-3-3, V. Fasbender 1-0-2-2, S. Cedarblade 7-3-1-24, M. Radtke 6-5-4-17, K. Bridges 0-2-0-2.
G-E-T — K. Kulas 1-0-0-2, M. Doerr 1-0-0-2, C. Schmitz 5-1-3-12, G. O’Neill 1-2-2-4, M. Schmitz 1-0-4-3, A. Hammond 2-4-2-8, L. Wagner 9-2-2-24, O. Zielke 2-1-3-5.
THREE-POINTERS: EM — A. Plaszcz 1, S. Cedarblade 7; G-E-T — C. Schmitz 1, M. Schmitz 1, L. Wagner 4.