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By Missy Klatt
GLENWOOD CITY — Tristan Kittilson will be starting his seventh year as head coach of the Glenwood City Hilltoppers boys’ basketball team.
With a record of 8-14 last season, the Hilltoppers fell short of their goal to have a winning season. However, Kittilson believed that a lot of personal goals were met a year ago and they “played some great ball coming down the stretch.”
Glenwood City lost three of its top scorers from last year’s squad to graduation. Gone are Hadin DeSmith, who received second team D-SC all-conference honors last year, along with Dillon Hierlmeier and Tanner Davis. Kittilson noted that all three had a great deal of skill, leadership, high character and experience.
To fill their shoes, the returning letter winners from last year that will be stepping up include seniors Ethan Hanson, Cole Logghe, Dan Loring and Cas Grant along with juniors Brandyn Hallquist and Gavin Janson and sophomore Drew Olson.
Joining them on the 2019-2020 varsity team will be PJ Watson (junior), Brady McCarthy (sophomore) and Max Janson (freshman). All three are looking to make an impact and earn minutes this year according to Kittilson.
As for the Toppers’ strong points, Kittilson thinks that his team is going to be pretty skilled and athletic. He stated that the team should also be strong defensively. He did concede that they may have trouble shooting the ball at times and will need to work as a team and earn trips to the free throw line.
“Our goals are simple in that we are just focused on getting better every day as a team and individually and the rest will fall into place,” stated Kittilson.
Spring Valley and Mondovi are two teams that Kittilson picks as being strong in conference this year; stating that they are the only ones returning all-conference players from last year.
“Overall, I think the conference is as balanced as it ever has been during my tenure as head coach,” stated Kittilson of this year’s Dunn-St. Croix boys’ race.
Joining Kittilson on the coaching staff this year will be Steven Pax as the junior varsity coach, Nathan Hoffman as C-team coach and Austin Sandow and Todd Hoffman as assistant coaches. Team managers include Brody Olson, Clayton Hoffman and Langston Walz.
The Hilltoppers will open their season Monday, December 2 with a road game against Prescott. In its next game, Glenwood City will continue its road travels but will play a bit closer to home when it will participate in an Invitational at UW-Stout on Saturday, December 7 with Unity as the opponent. Then on Monday, December 9, GC will wrap up a three-game road swing with a contest in Cadott. The boys first home game isn’t until December 12th when they host the Durand Panthers in their Dunn-St. Croix opener.
Seniors: Cole Logghe, Dan Loring, Ethan Hanson, Jordan Klatt, and Cas Grant.
Juniors: Brandyn Hallquist, Gavin Janson, PJ Watson, and Will Eggert.
Sophomores: Drew Olson, Brady McCarthy, Mitchell Bliese, Owen Swenby, Justin Moe, Collin LaValley, Brendan Booth, Austin Nelson, and Bryce Wickman.
Freshmen: Anthony Nelson, Cody Hanson, Wyatt Thompson, Aaron Brigham, Nick Hierlmeier, Jayden Quinn, Brady Klatt, Blake Wakeling, Max Janson, and Elek Anderson.