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by Joel DeWitt
The Boyceville girls’ basketball team looked to build off their first win of the season, a cold shooting performance against Independence/Gilmanton in a 41-35 victory.
While the shooting didn’t heat up, the Bulldogs did manage to win two games comfortably to move to 3-1 on the early season.
They opened the week hosting Chequamegon as part of a doubleheader with the boys’ squad. Unlike their counterparts, the girls were able to secure the win against the Screaming Eagles 43-18.
They followed that win up with a contest against Stanley-Boyd on December 2 at Colfax in the Western Wisconsin Girls’ Basketball Challenge. The Challenge features teams from the Dunn-St. Croix pitted against teams hailing from the Cloverbelt.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 13-point, first-half lead and held on for the 63-41 win over the Orioles.
The win puts Boyceville at 3-1 on the year as they head into conference play. They traveled to Spring Valley (0-5, 0-0) on December 5. Game was not completed in time for this edition.
They host Colfax (2-3, 0-0) on December 8 with a 7:15 p.m. tipoff to round out the week.
While shooting still lacks consistency in the early part of the schedule, the Bulldogs shot only 19-for-74 from the field on the evening, their defensive effort more than made up for any shortcomings on the offensive side of the ball.
The Bulldogs held the Screaming Eagles to only two field goals and five points in the first 18 minutes of play.
Even though the defense was holding Chequamegon down, the offense started slow. Hannah Dunn added five points, including a basket from behind the arc, to put her team up 11-3 midway through the first half.
The last nine minutes of the first half proved to be fruitful for Boyceville. Cora Leslie added seven points down the first half stretch to help propel the Bulldogs to the 29-5 advantage at intermission.
The Lady Bulldogs once again hit a cool stretch shooting in the second half, with them only hitting on six field-goals in the final 18 minutes for 15 points. Zoey Hellendrung led the second half effort with five points.
Regardless, the Screaming Eagles only managed 13 second half points as the Bulldogs held on for the 43-18 win.
“Good win to go to 2-1 but we left a lot of points off the table shooting a little over 25 percent in the paint”, commented coach Jay Lagerstrom. He continued, “I didn’t feel like we came out with a lot of energy in the second half”.
Dunn led her team with a game high 14 points, while Leslie was second with seven. Sarah Stoveren pulled down nine rebounds to pace her squad.
The Bulldog defense was once again the star to start this game. Boyceville’s stingy defense allowed only a single bucket in the first nine minutes of plays.
Meanwhile, the inside play of Leslie and Hellendrung dominated the Orioles to help open a 20-3 lead midway through the first half.
“We came out playing well from the start, we got some good looks inside to Cora and Zoey and that opened things up for our guard play,” indicated Lagerstrom.
While Stanley-Boyd was able to recover offensively and put up 18 points in the first half, the inside presence of Leslie/Hellendrung put up 14 of the Bulldogs 31 first half points, with Leslie contributing ten.
Leading 31-18 heading into the second half, Dunn took control of the offense and put in 11 of her game high 20 points after intermission. The senior hit three field goals, including a three pointer, and was 3-for-4 from the free throw line.
Leslie added six points in the second half as the Bulldogs sailed to the 63-41 win.
To go along with Dunn’s 20 point and Leslie’s 16-point performance, Hellendrung and Stoveren added eight and seven points, respectively.
“I thought we played pretty good man to man defense in the first half, but we let #32 (Bailey Sikora) get some looks from the perimeter we shouldn’t have,” noted Lagerstrom. “Overall, pretty solid play by our team on both ends of the court.”