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Central boys hit mid-season blahs

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After being one of the sharpest, most intense teams in the area for the first half of the season, the St. Croix Central boys hit the mid-winter blahs last week.

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The Panthers suffered their first upset of the 2003-04 season last Tuesday when they played at Pepin. The Panthers fell behind early and never could catch Pepin, losing 57-49 for their second loss of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference season.

On Friday the Panthers got back into the win column, scoring a 50-38 win over a struggling Colfax program. Central coach Mike Fern said the win over Colfax wasn't a large step up from the team's play at Pepin.

"We've been in a funk the last two games. I'm displeased with the intensity and the enthusiasm," Fern said.

The funk couldn't come at a worse time for the Panthers. They face the two teams ahead of them in the D-SC standings this week. On Tuesday the Panthers faced Spring Valley. On Saturday the Panthers will host undefeated Mondovi in a 7:30 p.m. game.

"Every team goes through this, we've got to turn it around," Fern said. "We're a lot better than we showed in these two games."

Against Colfax the Panthers led by halftime and gradually built that lead to nearly 20 in the second half. Colfax scored several hoops against the Panther reserves in the final minutes to shave the final deficit to 12 points.

The Panthers had well-balanced scoring in the win, with five players scoring 7-12 points. Tyler Cody led the team with 12 points and Steve Gulich added 11 points.

Cody led the team with 10 rebounds and Cameron Sarnstrom grabbed eight rebounds. Cody also led the team with four steals.

The Panthers were the first game of the double-header at Pepin last Tuesday, but Fern said that couldn't be used as an excuse. While Pepin is an improving team, Fern said the fact that the Panther defense gave up 57 points was alarming. Committing 22 turnovers was another red flag, indicating the Panthers weren't at the top of their game at Pepin.

After falling behind early, the Panthers fought back and tied the game in the third quarter. Then Pepin put together a strong finish to get the win.

Garrett Ullom led the Panthers with 16 points at Pepin and Cody scored 15 points.

Cody hauled down 12 rebounds to led the Panthers at Pepin while Ullom brought in 11 rebounds. Ullom also led the team with four steals.

After playing Mondovi on Saturday, the Panthers will be back at home next Tuesday, when Elmwood supplies the opposition.

St. Croix Central 50, Colfax 38

COLFAX (38)

(FG-FT-FTA-PTS)

Varnes 1 1-2 4, hagen 0 2-3 2, Blombeg 0 2-2 2, Berres 3 2-7 8, Dietsche 7 1-2 18, DeMoe 1 2-2 4. Totals 12 10-20 38.

ST. CROIX CENTRAL (50)

Cody 4 2-4 13, Fedie 2 2-4 7, Brown 0 0-0 0, Gulich 2 7-8 11, Meyer 0 0-0 0, Ullom 1 2-2 4, Raebel 2 4-4 8, Sarnstrom 4 0-0 8, Bowman 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 17-22 50.

Colfax 8 11 9 10 38

St. Croix Central 13 16 7 14 50

Three-point goals -- Varnes, Dietsche 3, Cody 2, Fedie. Fouled out -- Hagen. Total fouls -- Colfax 20, St. Croix Central 19.

Pepin 57, St. Croix Central 49

ST. CROIX CENTRAL (49)

(FG-FT-FTA-PTS)

Cody 6 3-3 15, Fedie 2 2-2 6, Brown 0 0-0 0, Gulich 0 1-2 1, Meyer 0 0-0 0, Ullom 6 4-5 16, Raebel 2 0-0 5, Sarnstrom 1 4-6 6, Bowman 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 14-18 49.

PEPIN (57)

Hoyt 1 0-0 2, Enberg 2 4-4 10, Rundquist 2 4-5 9, Brownell 8 7-9 23, Riesgraf 2 1-3 5, Hoel 2 0-0 4, Murray 1 2-5 4. Totals 18 18-26 57.

St. Croix Central 12 15 14 8 49

Pepin 17 13 11 16 57

Three-point goals -- Raebel, Enberg 2, Rundquist. Fouled out -- Sarnstrom. Total fouls -- St. Croix Central 19, Pepin 19.

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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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