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Big numbers burning Central girls

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One of the most improved aspects of area basketball in the early stages of this season was the defensive progress the St. Croix Central girls has made.

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The improvement has slipped badly in recent games.

The Panthers lost a pair of Dunn-St. Croix Conference games last week, giving up 145 points in the process.

Last Friday the Panthers were beaten on their home court by Elk Mound, 66-53. Three nights earlier the Panthers had travelled to Boyceville, where they were pounded by the Bulldogs, 79-49.

St. Croix Central coach Shannon Berg said the defense isn't totally to blame. She said the Panthers heavy turnover totals lately have let opponents decide what pace the game should be played at.

"That's probably the deciding factor," Berg said of the turnovers. "We certainly had our chances against Elk Mound, we just threw the ball away too much."

Berg said that outside of the turnovers, she thought the team's play against Elk Mound was a step in the right direction. The Panthers excelled at getting the ball into the post in the first half, but they went away from that in the second half.

"Every time we got the ball inside to Rachel (Anderson) she scored," Berg said of the first half success. Anderson had 14 points in the first half and nine more in the third quarter, but didn't score at all in the fourth quarter.

Tracy Gillis was the only other Panther scoring in double figures, hitting three three-pointers in the second half to total 11 points.

In addition to her 23 points, Anderson led the Panthers with 12 rebounds and six steals. Ella Olson led the team with seven assists.

The defensive effort against Boyceville was more disconcerting, especially since the Panthers had lost to Boyceville by one point in the first round of conference play.

"It was definitely a step backward defensively," Berg said. "We couldn't stop anything they did."

The biggest problem for Central was stopping Boyceville point guard Joanna Bird, who scored 24 points and had a number of assists.

Berg said the Panthers had trouble executing their game plan against Boyceville. They had hoped to get a great deal of penetration against the Boyceville defense and draw a high number of fouls.

Ella Olson led the Panthers with 15 points against Boyceville and her five assists were also tops on the team. Gillis had four steals to lead the team.

Berg said it is important for the Panthers to remain positive and try to get the team moving again in the needed direction. She said taking better care of the ball is the first ingredient in trying to get back to the style that was successful for them most of this season.

The Panthers are nearing the end of their regular season. On Friday they will be playing at home against Mondovi. Their final regular season game will be on Thursday, Feb. 19 at Spring Valley.

Elk Mound 66,

St. Croix Central 53

ELK MOUND (66)

(FG-FT-FTA-PTS)

Irwin 8 1-2 18, Cable 2 7-8 12, Kopp 0 2-3 2, Krumrie 9 11-14 29, Melgaard 2 1-2 5. Totals 21 22-31 66.

ST. CROIX CENTRAL (53)

Gillis 3 2-2 11, Kooiman 0 0-0 0, Olson 3 1-2 8, Brown 0 1-2 1, Holzer 0 0-00, C.Brummer 0 0-0 0, K.Brummer 1 3-6 5, Anderson 11 1-2 23, Strickland 2 0-0 5, Frank 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 8-14 53.

Elk Mound 16 19 14 17 66

St. Croix Central 9 17 12 15 53

Three-point goals -- Irwin, Cable, Gillis 3, Olson, Strickland. Fouled out -- Olson, Strickland. Total fouls -- Elk Mound 13, St. Croix Central 24.

Boyceville 79, St. Croix Central 49

ST. CROIX CENTRAL (49)

(FG-FT-FTA-PTS)

Gillis 2 0-0 5, Kooiman 2 1-2 5, Olson 5 4-6 15, Brown 0 1-4 1, Holzer 1 0-0 2, C.Brummer 0 0-0 0, K.Brummer 1 2-4 4, Anderson 5 1-1 11, Strickland 2 0-2 6. Totals 18 9-19 49.

BOYCEVILLE (79)

Kaiser 1 0-0 2, Schmidt 1 3-4 5, J.Bird 8 4-4 24, Hiben 2 3-4 7, Bri.Hakanson 8 2-2 18, Bro.Hakanson 3 0-0 6, K.Zavodny 2 4-5 9, S.Zavodny 3 0-0 6, K.Bird 1 0-0 2. Totals 29 16-19 79.

St. Croix Central 8 10 13 18 49

Boyceville 20 14 27 18 79

Three-point goals -- Gillis, Olson, Strickland 2, Bird 4, K.Zavodny. Fouled out -- none. Total fouls -- St. Croix Central 15, Boyceville 17.

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Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
(715) 243-7767 x242
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