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By Missy Klatt
BOYCEVILLE — The Lady Bulldogs played host to their closest rival, the Glenwood City Hilltoppers, on Thursday, December 3rd in the Dunn-St. Croix basketball opener for both teams. Unfortunately for the Dawgs, the Hilltoppers came away with the victory by a score of 58-41.
About five minutes into the game Jensine Boesl, one of the Bulldog starters, went down with a knee injury and had to leave the game and did not return.
The first half in general was fairly close with several lead changes. The biggest lead of the first half was only four points which the Lady Bulldogs had at 15-11 with five minutes before the half.
The Toppers scored the final four points of the half to take a 22-20 lead into intermission.
During the opening minutes of the second half, play remained close and the teams found themselves tied at 28 at the 13:41 mark.
Glenwood City then went on a 10-0 run to lead 38-28 at 8:43 only to have Boyceville rally over the next three minute with nine unanswered points to trail by just one point – 38-37 – with 5:52 to play.
The Hilltoppers took a time out. After that it was pretty much all Toppers as they outscored the Bulldogs 20 to 4 over those final minutes including a 14-0 Toppers run in the final four minutes of play.
First-year Hilltopper head coach Carly Kittilson was very happy with how both the varsity and JV, who also won, played. However, she did admit that their shots weren’t falling in the first half. She went on to say that the girls never gave up and kept shooting.
“I think it took the first half to get over our first game of the season jitters! It was nice to see the girls come out the second half ready to finish the game strong,” stated Kittilson.
Kittilson continued, “The girls fought hard and had perseverance to finish the game. Boyceville put their press on us and our girls worked as a team to break the press and we ended up getting some nice fast break points out of it!”
Kittilson praised the play of Bella Rassbach who had 23 points for the Toppers and lead all scorers in the game.
“She had some great rebounds and hit many big shots for us when we needed them,” noted
“Overall I am very pleased with how they came together as a team to get the win and we look forward to building off this win and improving as a team,” Kittilson concluded.
Besides losing Boesl early in the game, the Lady Bulldogs were minus one of their other post players due to covid restrictions. Because of this head Bulldog coach Jay Lagerstrom admitted that they got beat up on the boards. He hopes that they will be back soon but if not he states that some of the younger players will have to step up.
One of those younger players, freshman Hannah Dunn, stepped up in this game, leading the Lady Dawgs with 17 points. Lagerstrom noted that she played a nice game.
“As a team we did some good stuff on both ends,” stated Lagerstrom. “The difference was rebounding and putting some young girls into positions they weren’t used to. We gave up to many easy transition baskets with our press. We really lost our legs with about six minutes left and the game got away from us.”
At times the Bulldogs were playing two freshman and two sophomores on the court. Lagerstrom stated that they will learn from this and the experience will help going forward.
While this contest was the first for the Toppers’ this season, the Bulldogs had opened the year with a win over Cornell on Tuesday.
Boyceville will take to the road for a pair of games this week. The Bulldogs traveled to Plum City Monday evening, December 7 to face the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves and then go to Mondovi this Friday, December 11 before returning home to host the Durand Panthers next Tuesday, December 15.
Meanwhile, Glenwood City, who hosted Eau Claire Regis on Saturday, December 5 and lost, also played Monday evening, December 7 hosting Durand. The Hilltoppers then play back-to-back games this Thursday, December 10 at Cadott before returning home to host the Colfax Vikings on Friday, December 11. Glenwood City then goes to Clear Lake next Monday, December 14 for a non-conference contest.
Glenwood City: Rassbach 9-4-1-23, M. Oehlke 2-3-3-7, Mendez 4-0-4-8, Schutz 4-2-0-11, Voeltz 0-0-0-0, DeSmith 0-0-0-0, R. Oehlke 1-0-0-2, Fayerweather 3-1-3-7, Draxler 0-0-1-0. Team 23-10-12-58.
Olson 2-0-4-5, Lagerstrom 1-0-3-3, Montgomery 1-1-3-3, Hanestad 2-0-1-4, Kersten 0-0-1-0, Hellendrung 0-0-0-0, Dunn 7-1-1-17, Stoveren 0-0-0-0. Team 15-6-16-41.
Glenwood City………………………..22 36 58
Boyceville……………………………….20 21 41
3-point goals: Glenwood City: Rassbach, Schutz. Boyceville: Olson, Lagerstrom, Grambow, Dunn 2.