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By Missy Klatt
GLENWOOD CITY — The Spring Valley Cardinals came to town last Tuesday, January 14th looking for their first conference win and unfortunately, they found it at the hands of the Lady Hilltoppers’ basketball team in a close contest that found the Toppers losing 39-44.
The Cardinals along with the Toppers and the Boyceville Bulldogs all have one win in conference play and find themselves at the bottom of the Dunn-St. Croix conference. Glenwood City is 3-8 overall.
The Lady Tops, who are still down one starter, Yasmin Mendez who is out with a concussion, were having a very off night where the basketball didn’t seem to want to go through the hoop.
The first half started well with the Toppers taking an early 9-2 lead but it wasn’t long before the Cardinals shrunk that lead to two, 9-7, with about eleven minutes left in the half.
The Toppers were able to maintain a slight lead for the first half until the last three minutes or so when the Cardinals tied things up at 17 and then went ahead when they sunk a free throw at the 2:10 mark.
Neither team was able to put the ball through the basket for the remainder of the half and the Cardinals took a 18-17 lead into the locker room.
The second half started with the Cardinals scoring four quick points. Topper head coach, Dean Fayerweather then called a timeout to regroup.
It was two more Cardinal points before the Lady Tops got on the board in the second half. Maddie Oehlke then hit both of her free throws and a short time later hit a short jumper.
At this point, with three minutes off the clock and the Toppers trailing, 21-24, things were getting sloppy with both teams hustling but at times not taking charge of the ball. Case in point, when the Cards were the next to score off a Hilltopper turnover.
As the half continued, Glenwood City always seemed a step behind as in one or two points of the lead. With the inconsistency with their shots and too many unforced turnovers, the Hilltoppers just couldn’t pull ahead.
In a game with a lot of trips to the free throw line, especially in the second half, foul shots can make all the difference. For the Toppers and the Cardinals they were pretty evenly matched at the line with the Toppers shooting 65% from the line and the Cards at 68%. If the Toppers had been 90 or 100% from the line, they would have won but that’s a game of what ifs.
Overall, the Toppers came away with fewer turnovers than in previous games but they struggled on offense.
Coach Fayerweather remarked after the game that his team had three and four put back opportunities under the hoop but could not capitalize. He also credited the Cardinals for out hustling them on loose balls, saying they were just a bit more aggressive than the Toppers.
Makiah Schutz, in her first game back, was the leading scorer for the Hilltoppers with 14 points followed by Oehlke with ten.
The Hilltoppers’ game that was postponed from Friday, January 17th due to the snow storm will be played on Saturday, February 8th in Mondovi. The girls next play on Thursday, January 23rd at home against the Durand Panthers before taking on the Bulldogs in Boyceville next Tuesday, January 28th.
Glenwood City (39)
FG-FT-F-T: Rassbach 1-1-3-3, Oehlke 4-2-2-10, Ullom 2-2-1-6, Thompson 0-0-2-0, K. Schutz 0-0-0-0, Fayerweather 2-2-5-6, M. Schutz 4-6-4-14, Buttles 0-0-0-0. Total 13-13-11-39.
Spring Valley (44)
FG-FT-F-T: Birkel 0-0-0-0, Ortner 2-3-3-7, Dieckman 0-1-4-1, Flanders 0-0-1-0, Hybben 1-0-0-3, Olson 1-3-3-5, Hinzman 0-0-0-0, Schilling 4-2-0-10, Peabody 0-0-0-0, Rustad 0-2-1-2, Stark 6-4-4-16. Total 14-15-16-44.
Glenwood City 7 22 – 39
Spring Valley 18 26 – 44
3-point goals: Spring Valley: Hybben.