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By Missy Klatt
With two more games under their belts, the Boyceville boys’ basketball team is seeing some improvement despite two more losses last week. The Bulldogs dropped to 0-4 on the young season with the most recent setbacks.
On Tuesday, December 10, Boyceville hosted the Cumberland Beavers and after a close first-half of play watched as Cumberland ran away with a 68-39 win in the second. Then on Thursday, December 12, the Wolves of Elmwood/Plum City came to town and left with a 64-47 victory in the Dunn-St. Croix opener for both teams.
The Bulldogs played in Mondovi last evening, Tuesday, December 17th and will then head west on Highway 170 to take on local rival Glenwood City this Friday, December 20th. This will be Boyceville’s final game before the holiday break.
Even though the boys didn’t win against the Beavers, head coach Colby Dotseth saw it as a win for the program in how well the boys played through the first half and the effort and intensity levels they had throughout the game.
“I thought the boys played a very well balanced game in the first half,” said Dotseth. “We limited our turnovers and really bought in defensively and took the challenge of shutting Cumberland down.”
As a result of this play, the Bulldogs were only down by four points, 19-23 at the half.
Unfortunately, during the second half, the Bulldogs ran out of gas and momentum according to Dotseth. The Beavers outscored the Dawgs 45 to 23 in the second half.
Regardless of the loss, Coach Dotseth took away a lot of positives from the game. He felt that after struggling in their first two games of the season that the boys proved to each other last Tuesday night that they can play with anyone, if they buy in.
Dotseth stated that Cumberland has some very good, skilled basketball players.
“I thought we did a great job defending them,” added Dotseth. “Connor Sempf played a great game on the defensive end for us as he guarded Cumberland’s leading scorer (Nick Schradle) all night and held him to just eight points that were very hard to come by.”
Unfortunately, Jack Martens and DeShaun Ames broke loose for the Beavers offense and finished with 19 and 13 points respectively.
Dotseth also praised Cade Klefstad’s defensive play, saying he had a great game, rebounding the basketball and protecting the rim by blocking shots.
On the offensive side, Dotseth remarked that Logan Knudtson played much more under control. As a result he was the leading scorer for Boyceville with 13 points. Dotseth also credited Brendan Sempf for playing well on offense; driving to the basket and creating shot opportunities. He was the second high scorer for the Dawgs with 10 points.
“Even though the score of the game was lopsided, the boys gained a lot more confidence after this game and I hope that it will transition and carryover for a full game for us next when we play Elmwood/Plum City at home on Thursday for our conference opener,” concluded Dotseth.
FG-FT-F-T: Retz 2-0-4-4, B. Sempf 3-2-4-10, C. Sempf 1-0-4-2, Knudtson 5-1-0-13, Hazelton 0-0-0-0, Nye 0-0-0-0 Larson 1-0-1-2, Klefstad 4-0-1-8, Hollister 0-0-2-0. Total 16-3-16-39.
FG-FT-F-T: Ames 5-2-0-13, S. Schradle 3-0-1-6, Josh Martens 2-0-0-6, Jack Martens 6-3-2-19, Cecka 0-0-0-0, Freiss 1-1-1-3, N. Schradle 4-0-1-8, Knutson 2-0-0-4, Sandman 3-2-0-8, Runberg 0-1-2-1. Total 26-9-7-68.
Boyceville…………………………..19 20 — 39
Cumberland………………………..23 45 — 68
3-point goals: Boyceville: C. Sempf 2, Knudtson 2. Cumberland: Ames, Josh Martens 2, Jack Martens 4.
A strong first-half finish by Elmwood/Plum City help vault the Wolves to a 65-49 win over host Boyceville last Thursday.
During the December 12 game played at home against the Wolves, the Bulldogs were playing well keeping things close with the game tied several times in the first ten and a half minutes of the Dunn-St. Croix season opener.
Cade Klefstad and Logan Knudtson combined for 11 points in the first four minutes of the game to give the Bulldogs a 11-9 lead.
The Wolves than went on a five-point run to take a 14-11 lead. However Brendan Sempf soon had things tied up again with a bucket from outside the arc.
The Wolves then hit two free throws to pull ahead once more. Then with about 7:30 left on the clock Connor Larson stole the ball and drove down for a layup to tie the game at 16.
It was at this point where things started falling apart for the Bulldogs.
Boyceville struggled to sink its bunny shots, coupled with several turnovers which allowed the Wolves to outscore them 8 to 1 over the next four minutes.
Brendan Sempf then sank another one outside the arc to pull within three of the Wolves at 20-24. However, during the last two minutes of the half, the Bulldogs got into some foul trouble and the Wolves began shooting bonus free throws. Going six-for-ten at the line and adding one additional basket, the Wolves went on an eight-point unanswered run to finish out the half and take a 32-20 lead.
The first few minutes of the second half weren’t much better as the Wolves outscored the Dawgs 9-4.
Things then got fast and furious for a couple of minutes where neither team scored.
It was the Wolves who scored again in the form of two free throws. Klefstad then added four more points for the Bulldogs before the Wolves went on a nine point run. It was during this time that the Bulldogs once again had several turnovers. The Wolves now had a 52-28 lead.
With just over nine and half minutes left to play, the Bulldogs started to work their way back as they outscored the Wolves 12-2 thanks to buckets by Connor Sempf, Knudtson, and Walker Retz.
The Wolves called a timeout with just over four minutes left to play with a 54-40 lead. They soon added four more points to their total before Brendan Sempf laid in two off of a fast break. The Wolves countered by hitting both ends of a one-and-one, bringing their lead to 60-42.
The Bulldogs didn’t quit, however, and continued to fight for points. Before it was all over Trevor Hollister and Connor Sempf combined for five more points while the Wolves put up four of their own, ultimately winning the game 64-47.
While it was a disappointing loss, Coach Dotseth still thought the boys gave a good effort overall.
“They didn’t give up. We were down and they brought it back up. It was good to see the boys keep fighting,” said Dotseth.
The coach added that his team will continue to work on things and that hopefully players will continue to improve as the season goes on. Cutting down on turnovers will be one of those things to work on. He is also hoping they can get healthy and stay healthy as they currently have a couple of players with some minor ankle injuries.
Dotseth praised the play of the Sempf brothers; Brendan for his ball handling and controlling of the offense and Connor for stepping up on defense. He also acknowledged Knudtson for his shooting.
Brendan Sempf and Logan Knudtson each hit a pair of threes to finish with 13 and nine points respectively while Cade Klefstad netted ten.
FG-FT-F-T: Retz 1-0-3-2, B. Sempf 5-1-1-13, C. Sempf 2-4-4-8, Knudtson 3-1-3-9, Nye 0-0-0-0, Larson 1-0-1-2, Klefstad 4-2-0-10, Hollister 1-1-4-3. Total 17-9-16-47.
Elmwood/Plum City (64)
FG-FT-F-T: Glampe 4-1-4-10, Hartung 0-2-1-2, Whipple 3-3-1-9, Phillips 1-0-2-2, Gilles 5-4-0-14, Carson 0-0-1-0, Gansluckner 2-1-3-6, Bartz 3-0-4-6, Pelzel 6-3-1-15, Coss 0-0-0-0. Total 24-14-17-64.
Boyceville……………………………20 27 — 47
Elmwood/Plum City……………..32 32 — 64
3-point goals: Boyceville: B. Sempf 2, Knudtson 2. Elmwood/Plum City: Glampe, Gansluckner.