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By Missy Klatt
GLENWOOD CITY — The first game back from break still wasn’t the one for the Hilltopper boys’ basketball team as it is still in search of its first win this season.
Glenwood City played host to the Thunder from Osseo-Fairchild this past Friday evening, January 3 in what head coach Tristan Kittilson called an interesting game to say the least. The Hilltoppers were knocked down by the Thunder 55-76 in the non-conference tilt. The Toppers now have an overall record of 0-7.
Glenwood City got on the board right away with two points from Brandyn Hallquist.
After several failed attempts at shooting behind the arc for the Toppers, the Thunder took advantage and went on an eight-point run. With the time clock reading 14:24, Ethan Hanson put two more points on the board in the form of free throws. This was immediately followed by two from the Thunder. Then with just over thirteen minutes left to play in the opening half, Hanson hit a short jumper before the Thunder went on a 15-point run.
It was during this run that Gavin Janson got steam rolled by the Thunder and was removed from the game to get checked out by the trainer. Fortunately, he didn’t suffer a concussion or have any other injuries and was able to return to play in the second half.
It was Hanson who once again broke the dry spell for the Toppers with just over seven minutes on the clock. The score now was Toppers 8, Thunder 25.
At this point, the Hilltoppers went to a man-to-man press and really tightened up their defense. Over the next three minutes, the Toppers outscored the Thunder 9 to 6 which included back-to-back steals and layups from Hallquist.
With just over two and a half minutes left in the first half, Drew Olson sank a three pointer which was followed by eight more points from the Thunder.
Then with about one second left on the clock, Dan Loring sank the final bucket of the half. The Toppers who were plagued by turnovers and missed shots headed into the locker room trailing the Thunder 22-39.
The second half started with Osseo-Fairchild having a short four-point run before Glenwood City was able to take advantage of some Thunder turnovers and score four points of their own. After two more points for the Thunder, the Toppers got their press mojo working again and had back-to-back steals and layups from Hallquist and Hansen.
As play continued, the competition was much tighter with the teams quite often exchanging baskets.
With a little under eleven minutes left to play, Olson hit for two off an inbound play to make the score Hilltoppers 39, Thunder 53. It was at this point where the tides changed again and the Thunder scored 15 unanswered points. Again missing shots, the Toppers just seemed to get the wind knocked out of their sails, losing their drive and that extra effort.
A couple of three pointers from Mitchell Bilese and Janson got things going a bit for Glenwood City but it wasn’t long before Osseo-Fairchild had another short run of six points (their last for the night). It was during this run that Hallquist accidentally collided with a Thunder player and took a shot to the head. Unfortunately, it was determined that he did suffer a concussion and will be out an indefinite time.
The last three minutes or so of the game was rather sloppy and hectic with mainly Thunder subs. There was a lot of back-and-forth with missed shots and turnovers. However, the Toppers finished strong and had an eight-point run to finish the game.
Ethan Hanson led the Hilltoppers with 16 points followed by Brandyn Hallquist with 15.
After the game Coach Kittilson remarked, “Again had a lot of nice moments and promising things. When all locked in we did some nice things on defense causing 26 turnovers and forcing some poor shots.”
However, he admitted, “We turned it over 25 times ourselves and our overall decision making (poor shot selection) and lack of execution on offense continues to plague us.”
Heading back into conference play, the Toppers played in Colfax on Tuesday, January 7 and will travel to Elk Mound this Friday, January 10.
Glenwood City (55)
FG-FT-F-T: Hallquist 6-3-3-15, Bliese 1-0-3-3, McCarthy 1-0-0-2, Janson 1-0-0-3, Olson 2-0-2-5, Wickman 2-0-1-5, Logghe 0-0-4-0, Eggert 1-0-0-2, Grant 1-0-0-2, Hanson 6-4-3-16, Swenby 0-0-0-0, Loring 1-0-1-2, Moe 0-0-2-0. Total 22-7-19-55.
FG-FT-F-T: Wathke 1-1-0-3, Gitto 1-0-0-2, Gehrmann 1-0-2-3, Shimon 1-2-2-5, Hammer 2-0-2-6, Myhers 4-2-4-11, Koxlien 8-5-1-21, Herman 0-0-0-0, Vojtik 1-1-2-3, Dahl 1-0-2-2, Loesel 0-0-0-0, McIlquham 7-3-2-18, Muhe 1-0-1-2, Anderson 0-0-0-0. Total 28-14-18-76.
Glenwood City 22…..33 — 55
Osseo-Fairchild 39…..35 — 74
3-point goals: Glenwood City – Bilese, Janson, Olson, Wickman. Osseo-Fairchild – Gehrmann, Shimon, Hammer 2, Myhers, McIlquham.