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by Missy Klatt
The week started on a high note for the Boyceville Bulldog boys’ basketball team as it finally picked up their first win of the season when they defeated Frederic 69-56 at home on Monday, January 18th. However, the news wasn’t as good for their two remaining games of the week as they lost 40-78 to Elk Mound on the road and 39-67 at home to Elmwood/Plum City.
The Bulldogs, 0-5 in the D-SC and 1-11 overall, have three games on the schedule this week. On Monday, January 25th, Boyceville hosted Colfax and then, went to Amery for a non-conference contest on Tuesday, January 26th. The Bulldogs will travel to rival Glenwood City on Thursday the 28th to take on the Hilltoppers.
Boyceville then opens the following week’s action in Colfax on Monday, February 1 before returning home on Tuesday, February 2 to host Mondovi.
“They say the first win of the season is always the toughest and last night the boys played their butts off and were able to knock that burden off their back and secure their first win,” remarked head coach Colby Dotseth following the Bulldogs’ victory over Frederic January 18.
Dotseth went on to say that the boys, as a group, did a really nice job all game long not settling and attacking the rim.
“I was proud of the boys in being able to close out the game,” he added.
When the first half ended, the Bulldogs were leading 32-23 thanks in part to Connor Sempf who scored 18 of his 23 points in the opening half, including seven-for-eight from the free throw line.
Dotseth commented that it was the first time this year that offensively they were able to attack and score in both halves. He gave a lot of credit for that to Sempf and Walker Retz. Retz had 17 points for the night.
“They did a great job of managing the game and playing under control. They have been tremendous leaders for the underclassmen on the floor and it showed last night,” stated Dotseth.
In the second half, Boyceville outscored Frederic 37-33 with eight different Bulldogs contributing to the score including ten from Retz.
Another key to their victory was the fact that when they broke Frederic’s press, they did well limiting their turnovers.
Dotseth also praised the play of Connor Larson who had a couple of huge jumpers near the end of the game to help close out the victory. Also, Dotseth thought that freshman Caden Wold, who had 11 points, had his best game to this point.
“He looked confident on the floor and was aggressive offensively with the basketball,” said Dotseth of Wold.
Dotseth also gave kudos to freshmen Nick Olson and Grant Kaiser. Saying they both stepped up and played great minutes off the bench.
“If we can play relaxed and confident, then the rest of the season will be a lot of fun for us as we prove to ourselves that we can compete and win games!” concluded Dotseth.
FG-FT-F-TP: Retz8-0-4-17, Wold 5-0-1-11, Sempf 7-8-2-23, Olson 2-0-2-4, Wruck 0-2-1-2, Phillips 1-0-1-2, Larson 3-0-2-6, Kaiser 2-0-0-4. Total 28-10-13-69.
FG-FT-F-TP: Ores 9-2-4-21, Larson 5-0-3-11, Ovik 1-0-3-2, Buskick 1-0-1-2, Nick 7-0-0-14, Erickson 2-2-3-6. Total 25-4-14-56.
Boyceville…..…..…..…..…..……32 37 – 69
Frederic……..…..…..…..…..…..23 33 – 56
goals: Boyceville: Retz, Wold, Sempf. Fredereic: Ores, Larson.
On Tuesday, January 19th, the Bulldogs traveled to Elk Mound to take on the Mounders, who are now atop the Dunn-St. Croix conference after beating rival Colfax this past Friday night.
According Dotseth, the game overall was a struggle for them on both ends of the floor.
“We struggled to score the basketball and not turn it over,” stated Dotseth. “We also really struggled defensively with shutting them down. We knew going in we were going to have to be aggressive offensively attacking their 1-3-1. But we just weren’t aggressive and really played on our heels offensively.
“We also struggled to stay positive defensively and get after it. We didn’t box out or contest shots very well. We made a couple of runs offensively but never could get enough momentum to get us back into the game competitively,” he added.
The Bulldogs were outscored 20-32 in the first half and 20-42 in the second half.
Retz and Sempf were once again the leaders on the court. Sempf was an offensive spark in the first half with ten points (he had 12 for the game) and Retz was aggressive on the glass on both ends of the floor. He also did a nice job attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line and came away with 11 points for the night.
Dotseth also praised Nick Olson, saying he had great effort on both ends of the floor.
FG-FT-F-TP: Retz 2-7-2-11, Evenson 1-0-1-3, Sempf 5-0-1-12, Olson 2-0-1-4, Wruck 1-1-1-3, Phillips 0-0-3-0, Roemhild 0-1-0-1, Larson 1-0-2-2, Bowell1-2-0-4. Total 13-11-11-40.
Elk Mound (78)
FG-FT-F-TP: Buhl 4-0-0-10, Bartig 2-0-3-6, Heath 8-1-3-17, Lew 4-2-4-11, Russo 7-1-1-17, Bartholomew 0-0-1-0, Meyer 0-1-4-1, Gilbert 0-0-1-0, Jensen 6-1-2-16, Delikowski 0-0-2-0. Total 31-6-21-78.
Boyceville…..…..…..…..…..…….20 20 – 40
Elk Mound…..…..…..…..…..……35 43 – 78
3-point goals: Boyceville: Evenson, Sempf 2. Elk Mound: Buhl 2, Bartig 2, Lew, Russo 2, Jensen 3.
On Friday the 22nd, the Bulldogs hosted the Wolves of Elmwood/Plum City who are currently in third place in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference.
Disappointed is probably the best word to describe how Dotseth felt after the game.
“I talked to the boys after the game about how poorly our effort was collectively as a team throughout the game,” stated Dotseth. “We didn’t hustle back after missed shots and played flat footed on defense and gave up way too many layups and fast break opportunities.”
He continued by saying, “We just didn’t have any energy as soon as they went on an early run on us. Also having four turnovers in your first four possessions of the ball game never helps your confidence.”
The Bulldogs were outscored 24-44 in the first half and 15-23 in the second half.
While things were definitely dismal, Dotseth did have some nice things to say.
“Seniors Walker Retz, Connor Sempf and Connor Larson all were our bright spots offensively with their shooting. Junior Kole Wruck has continued to play more comfortably each game and has given really good effort on defense and has played within his role with the team greatly,” said Dotseth. “Sophomore Jack Phillips has an unbelievable motor and continues to give 100% on both ends of the floor even when things are frustrating.”
Dotseth concluded, “This week was an eye opener for us as individuals and as a team and we need to refocus and just get better at not shutting down effort wise so fast once things aren’t going our way or a team makes a run on us. Hopefully we can regroup over the weekend and buy into shutting teams down defensively.”
Sempf led the Bulldogs with 14 points followed by Retz with 13 and Larson with six.
FG-FT-F-TP: Retz 4-4-3-13, Evenson 0-0-0-0, Sempf 5-2-2-14, Olson 0-0-1-0, Wruck 1-0-0-2, Phillips 2-0-5-4, Larson 3-0-0-6, Kaiser 0-0-1-0, Hollister 0-0-1-0. Total 15-6-13-39.
Elmwood/Plum City (67)
FG-FT-F-TP: Asher 1-0-0-2, Hartung 5-0-1-12, Whipple 5-0-0-12, Bartz 1-0-4-2, Pwlzel 1-0-1-2, Gilles 5-3-2-13, Gansluckner 1-0-1-2, Webb 8-4-0-21, Bauer 5-0-1-10. Total 28-7-10-67.
Boyceville……..…..…..…..…..…..24 15 – 39
Elmwood/Plum City…..…..…..….44 23 – 67
3-point goals: Boyceville: Retz, Sempf 2. Elmwood/Plum City: Hartung, Whipple 2, Webb.