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By Missy Klatt
Close but no wins seemed to be the theme this past week for the Glenwood City boys’ basketball team as it lost three of its four games by ten points or less.
The Toppers started the week on the road with a 52-58 loss to Osseo-Fairchild on Monday, February 1st. This was followed by a five-point, 55-60 loss to the Vikings in Colfax on Tuesday, February 2. Returning to the confines of home hardwood, Glenwood City suffered another close defeat, falling 44-54 to Elk Mound on Friday, February 5 before it was soundly beaten for the second Saturday in a row by the Durand Panthers, 46-70, on February 6.
The Hilltoppers, currently 2-10 in conference action and 4-10 overall, will finish out the regular season on the road. They played in Mondovi on Monday, February 8th and they will be at Plum City to take on the Wolves of Elmwood/Plum City this Thursday, February 11th.
The Glenwood City boys will open WIAA Division 4 tournament play next Tuesday, February 16 at home against Shell Lake. The Toppers received the number 4 seed in their regional bracket and the Lakers are #5. The winner will go to Clear Lake Friday, February 19 to play the unbeaten and state-ranked Warriors. The Toppers were beaten by the Warriors 64-36 in a non-conference contest back on January 18.
According to head coach Tristan Kittilson, this was a frustrating loss to Osseo-Fairchild. He admitted that they did not play well or to their level which he is having a hard time understanding.
“Our press which has been so good to us, is really struggling and we are making a lot of silly fouls and getting ourselves out of position to often,” stated Kittilson.
Behind 12, first-half points from Brandyn Hallquist the Toppers actually had a 31-23 lead going into the locker room at intermission.
Despite their lead, Kittilson said they made too many mistakes and not enough plays or baskets to win in the end. Osseo-Fairchild came back in the second half to score 35 points to the Toppers 21 to win 58-52.
Hallquist led with 17 points followed by Drew Olson with 11.
Glenwood City (52)
FG-FT-F-TP: Hallquist 6-2-5-17, Bliese 2-3-3-8, G. Janson 3-0-5-8, Olson 4-3-4-11, M. Janson 0-0-0-0, Eggert 0-0-2-0, Moe 3-1-2-8, Swenby 0-0-5-0. Total 18-9-26-52.
FG-FT-F-TP: Hasz 3-2-1-8, Gitto 1-2-1-3, Gehrmann 2-0-3-6, Shimon 3-3-1-9, Koxlien 10-6-2-26, Boettcher 0-0-2-0, Seefeldt 2-0-1-4, Loesell 1-0-1-2, Wahtke 0-0-5-0. Total 22-12-18-58.
Glenwood City….….….….….….31 21 – 52
Osseo-Fairchild…..….….….…..23 35 – 58
3-point goals: Glenwood City: Hallquist 3, Bliese, G. Janson, Moe. Osseo-Fairchild: Gehrmann 2.
Last Tuesday, it was a conference game against the Colfax Vikings who are sitting two spots ahead of the Toppers in the conference standings.
Kittilson remarked that this was another hard fought game and a tough loss. He said that at times they played very well. Gavin Janson had a career high 20 points for the game including five, three pointers in the first half giving the Toppers a 34-30 lead at the break.
However, the Hilltoppers struggled down the stretch to finish the ball close to the basket and the Vikings just out played them at the end.
In the second half, the Vikings outscored the Toppers 30-21 to win by five points – 55-60.
After Janson, Drew Olson was next in points with 15.
Glenwood City (55)
FG-FT-F-TP: Hallquist 2-0-4-4, Bliese 2-0-2-6, G. Janson 7-0-3-20, Olson 7-0-2-15, Moe 2-0-3-5, Swenby 2-1-1-5. Total 20-1-15-55.
FG-FT-F-TP: Hydukovich 2-0-1-4, Erickson 3-0-1-9, Albricht 0-0-1-0, Hoffman 4-0-3-10, Lenz 4-2-2-10, Heidorn 5-2-1-12, Rebak 1-0-1-2, Gibson 5-2-2-13. Total 24-6-12-60.
Glenwood City…….…….………34 21 – 55
Colfax…..…….…….…….………30 30 – 60
3-point goals: Glenwood City: Bliese 2, G. Janson 6. Olson, Moe. Colfax: Erickson 3, Hoffman 2, Gibson.
On Friday the Toppers were up against the number two team in the Dunn-St. Croix – the Mounders of Elk Mound.
“It was a close game! Boys fought extremely hard and made a lot of nice plays,” enthused Kittilson.
Glenwood City had an early lead of 9 to 2 and 13 to 6 and at half time the game was tied at 28 points each. Hallquist had 15 of his 21 points in the first half.
“Unfortunately, in the second half we were making the same looks and they continued to shoot well. Once we got down, time started to become a factor and we had to really press the issue and they took advantage!” summed up Kittilson.
Glenwood City who had eight triples compared to seven by Elk Mound were outscored 26-16 in the final half and lost by ten – 44 to 54.
Freshman Kaden Russo also tallied 21 points to lead the Mounders to victory.
Glenwood City (44)
FG-FT-F-TP: Hallquist 8-1-3-21, Bliese 1-0-1-3, G. Janson 3-0-0-9, Eggert 0-0-0-0, Moe 0-0-4-0, Swenby 1-0-3-2, Nelson 0-0-1-0, Wallin 1-0-0-3. Total 14-3-17-44
Elk Mound (54)
FG-FT-F-TP: Bohl 4-1-3-11, Bartig 2-0-2-6, Heath 1-3-1-5, Lew 2-0-2-4, Russo 9-0-0-21, Meyer 0-3-2-3, Jensen 1-2-1-4, Delikowski 0-0-1-0. Total 19-9-12-54.
Glenwood City…..…….…………28 16 – 44
Elk Mound…..…….…….…….…28 26 – 54
3-point goals: Glenwood City: Hallquist 4, Bliese, G. Janson 3, Wallin. Elk Mound: Bohl 2, Bartig 2, Russo 3.
With the Durand Panthers being the fourth game of the week for the Toppers one had to wonder if the GC boys were just getting tired after their recent two-week game packed schedule.
According to Kittilson this was another hard fought and physical game.
“Durand is a very strong team and did a lot of nice thing on offense and defense that we just were not able to match,” stated Kittilson.
He went on to say, “We struggled to get our shots to go down and our turnovers proved to be too much for us. We must make better decisions with the basketball if we want to win coming down the stretch and this will be our primary focus in practice to be the most ready we can be, come playoffs!
The Toppers were outscored 40-22 in the first half and 30-24 in the second half as Glenwood lost for the second Saturday in a row to the Panthers, this time – 70 to 46.
Mitchell Bliese led the Toppers with 13 points while Hallquist and Gavin Janson each had nine.
Durand had ten players score including three in double digits with Joey Biesterveld netting a game high 18, followed by Caden Berger with 14 and Gunnar Hurlburt finished with a dozen.
Glenwood City (46)
FG-FT-F-TP: Hallquist 4-1-3-9, Bliese 5-2-1-13, Olson 1-2-2-4, Eggert 0-0-2-0, Moe 0-0-1-0, Swenby 4-2-1-11. Total 17-10-11-46.
FG-FT-F-TP: Kurth 2-0-2-4, S. Bauer 2-0-0-4, Wittig 1-1-1-3, Troun 1-0-0-3, Anibus 1-0-3-2, Brenner 0-0-2-0, B. Bauer 3-0-1-8, Biesterveld 6-3-0-15, G. Hurlburt 4-2-0-10, Berger 9-1-3-19, E. Hurlburt 1-0-0-2. Total 30-7-12-70.
Glenwood City…….…….………22 24 – 46
Durand……….…….…….……….40 30 – 70
3-point goals: Glenwood City: Bliese, Swenby. Durand: Troun, B. Bauer 2.