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GLENWOOD CITY — Second-year head coach Patrick Olson knows his Glenwood City boys’ basketball team has plenty of holes to fill after a large senior class departed via graduation this past spring.
Seven seniors said their goodbyes to the program following a 54-40 loss to Cumberland in the opening round of the WIAA Division 4 playoffs.
The Hilltoppers finished 7-17 overall and were just 3-11 in the Dunn-St. Croix after several players were sidelined due to COVID-19.
Gone are Drew Olson, Brady McCarthy, Mitchell Bliese, Bryce Wickman, Justin Moe, Owen Swenby and Brendan Booth. That “Magnificent Seven” provided the bulk of the Toppers’ scoring and rebounding last season.
Olson, a second team, all-conference selection last season, was Glenwood City’s top scorer with a ten points per game average and its best rebounder with nearly six boards a contest. McCarthy was the squad’s second leading scorer with 8.5 ppg and its most dangerous long-range shooter with 26 triples to his credit in 2021-22. McCarthy also helped on the boards, pulling down nearly four rebounds a game. Owen Swenby and Bliese were the team’s fourth and fifth-leading scorers, respectively.
In all, Glenwood City lost six of its top eight scorers and three of its best rebounders from a year ago.
But the cupboard is not completely bare heading into the 2022-23 season.
Returning are seniors Elek Anderson and Max Janson, both starters from last season, and junior Morgen Eggert.
Elk Anderson finished third in scoring (6.4 ppg) and rebounds (3.7 rpg) last season. Janson’s 2.6 ppg placed him sixth on the squad while he was fifth in rebounds.
As a sophomore, Morgen Eggert averaged a point and a rebound per contest along with a couple of assists.
Seniors Jayden Quinn and Anthony Nelson along juniors Steven Booth, Jared Hager, Zach Hill, Jackson Halbach and newcomer Logan Rands look to fill some of the openings. Sophomores Esdyn Swenby, Ilan Anderson, Caleb Klinger and Tyler Harrington also hope to compete for possible varsity time.
There are also nine freshmen on the team.
“We were a senior-laden team in 2021-22,” said Coach Olson, who is in his second stint as the Topper boys’ head coach and sports a 40-25 record.
“We are looking to build from commitment in the off season by our players in grades 9-12. These young men work hard and have a desire to improve each and every day,” he added.
Olson added that one of the team’s biggest goals is to improve upon the work that the players established during their off-season training which included individual basketball camps, AAU basketball and numerous tournaments in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Olson has tabbed Elk Mound and Mondovi as the front runners for this season’s Dunn-St. Croix crown as both return top conference performers from a year ago.
Olson will be assisted by Nathan Hoffman (JV coach), Hadin DeSmith (C-team coach), Craig Kittel (assistant coach) and Wyatt Thompson (student assistant coach and senior).
Glenwood City, which will slide down into Division 5 come tournament time, will open the season next Tuesday, November 29 when it hosts Clayton in a non-conference contest.
Seniors: Elek Anderson, Max Janson, Jayden Quinn, Anthony Nelson and Wyatt Thompson (student assistant coach)
Juniors: Steven Booth, Morgen Eggert, Jared Hager, Zach Hill, Jackson Halbach and Logan Rands.
Sophomores: Brett Peterson (out for season with torn ACL), Esdyn Swenby, Ilan Anderson, Caleb Klinger and Tyler Harrington.
Freshmen: Brody Riba, Clayton Hoffman, Mitchel Main, Brady Thompson, Jacob Hager, Ben Klatt, Ben Standaert, Vincent Yang and Brody Olson (out for season with torn labrum).