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Central boys 1-1 after beating Elmwood

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Getting the first win out of the way was important for a team as young as the St. Croix Central boys basketball team.

The Panthers took care of that piece of business on Friday, winning at Elmwood 44-33.

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With only two returning varsity players, Central coach Mike Fern has had to prioritize the skills he is teaching the Panthers. He said his main focus in practices thus far has been defense.

"Defense is always number one with me, defense wins games. Defense is heart and attitude and these kids have been working hard," Fern said.

The Panthers showed some positive points on offense too. While they missed some close range shots on Friday, they were getting the ball in position to get those shots. Fern said it is mostly a matter of developing patience and some of those hurried shots will start to fall.

Tyler Cody led the Panthers with 17 points Friday, hitting some big first half shots to help the team build a 23-16 halftime lead. The lead hovered in the 12-14 point range for most of the second half.

Derek Raebel led the Panthers with 10 rebounds in the game. It was a balanced effort, with Garrett Ullom grabbing nine rebounds and Cameron Sarnstrom and Cody each snaring seven rebounds.

Mondovi gets a battle

Mondovi is considered to be the favorite in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference boys basketball race this season. For three quarters, the Panther boys gave Mondovi all it could handle.

The Panthers trailed 32-25 after three quarters. The Panthers were able to hold four of Mondovi's starters to a combined 16 points, but the Buffaloes balance carried them through.

"They are definitely the deepest team in the conference," Fern said.

Starting for the Panthers were Ryan Fedie, Tyler Cody, Cameron Sarnstrom, Garrett Ullom and Derek Raebel. Fern said he expects that group to be a solid starting five for the team. He said Tony Bowman, Steve Gulich and Dustin Meyer will be the top reserves.

Fern said the team can build off of several strengths.

"We can rebound, we can be a very good shooting team," he said. "These kids work together. There is very good team chemistry and they work very hard."

Cody led the Panthers with 13 points in the game, scoring 11 of them in the first half. Ullom led the team with four assists and ten rebounds.

This was the first varsity experience for many of the Panthers, after the team graduated nine seniors from last year's squad.

The Panthers are back on their home court this Friday, with Boyceville as the opponent. The Panthers also play at home next Tuesday, in a non-conference game against Baldwin-Woodville.

St. Croix Central 44, Elmwood 33

ST. CROIX CENTRAL (44)

(FG-FT-FTA-PTS)

Cody 6 4-4 17, Fedie 0 4-4 4, Gulich 0 0-0 0, Meyer 1 0-1 2, Ullom 4 3-5 11, Raebel 2 0-2 6, Sarnstrom 2 0-1 4, Bowman 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 11-17 44.

ELMWOOD (33)

Schrag 2 1-2 7, Mountain 1 0-0 2, T.Hartung 1 2-4 5, Bates 1 0-0 2, Baier 5 4-8 16, A.Hartung 0 0-0 0, Breggerman 0 1-2 1. Totals 10 8-16 33.

St. Croix Central 12 11 13 8 44

Elmwood 5 11 8 9 33

Three-point goals -- Cody, Raebel 2, Schrag 2, T.Hartung, Baier 2. Fouled out -- none. Total fouls -- St. Croix Central 18, Elmwood 20.

Mondovi 49, St. Croix Central 31

ST. CROIX CENTRAL (31)

(FG-FT-FTA-PTS)

Adams 0 0-0 0, Cody 5 0-1 13, Fedie 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 1-2 1, Gulich 0 3-4 3, Meyer 0 0-0 0, Ullom 3 0-1 6, Raebel 2 1-2 6, Sarnstrom 1 0-1 2, Bowman 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 5-10 31.

MONDOVI (49)

Schmitz 3 3-5 12, Gray 1 0-0 2, Smith 5 3-6 13, Segerstrom 1 1-2 3, Nelson 1 0-0 3, Christianson 2 0-0 5, Moy 4 1-1 9, Vetterkind 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 8-14 49.

St. Croix Central 8 11 6 6 31

Mondovi 11 11 10 17 49

Three-point goals -- Cody 3, Raebel, Schmitz 3, Nelson, Christianson. Fouled out -- none. Total fouls -- St. Croix Central 17, Mondovi 16.

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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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