Central girls have tough stretch completed
Getting the three toughest opponents in the conference done right away can be a positive, according to St. Croix Central girls basketball coach Shannon Berg.
The Panthers are 1-3 after their opening four games. The three losses are to Colfax, Boyceville and Glenwood City, who are expected to be three of the top contenders in the conference this season.
Last Tuesday the Panthers lost to Boyceville 48-25. The best game of the season thus far for Central may have been on Friday, when they gave Glenwood City a battle before losing 59-51.
Berg said the team had a talk about their expectations after their loss to Boyceville.
"The kids want respect. They know for that to happen they have to beat the good teams," she said. "The older girls have worked so hard, they aren't okay with (losing) any more."
It was the older players who led the Panthers against Glenwood City. Rachel Anderson showed she's nearing her old form following recent knee surgery. She led the Panthers with 25 points and 13 rebounds.
"Each game you can tell she's getting stronger," Berg said.
Point guard Ella Olson had 10 assists in the game, most of them on feeds to Anderson in the post. She also had six rebounds.
Freshman Heather Kircher made a big contribution off the bench, scoring 11 points and grabbing five rebounds. Berg said the young players on the bench are starting to produce.
"The kids coming off the bench, we have to get some sort of contribution from them," Berg said.
The Panthers are showing much better judgement on their shooting. They only took four three-pointers in this game. Berg said as the Panthers continue to get better shots, she expects the team's shooting percentage to steadily improve.
This was a game of rallies. The Panthers made a rally to get a 32-31 lead in the third quarter, but Glenwood City responded to get the lead back. Glenwood made a rally late in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win.
Last Tuesday's game at Boyceville looked doomed at the start when the Bulldogs made three quick three-pointers to take a 9-0 lead. The Central defense did an excellent job of responding, and at halftime the Panthers trailed 15-9. This was another game where the Panthers had good scoring chances, but struggled to convert.
This week is pivotal for the Panthers. They play three games, and they are hoping to notch conference wins in all three. They played Elmwood on Tuesday. The Panthers will play at home against Pepin on Thursday and they will also be at home on Saturday, facing Plum City.
St. Croix Central 25
ST. CROIX CENTRAL (25)
A.Olson 2 0-0 4, Eddy 0 0-0 0, Gillis 0 0-0 0, E.Olson 3 2-2 8, Brown 1 1-2 3, Kircher 0 0-0 0, Rothbauer 0 0-0 0, Anderson 2 1-4 5, Strickland 1 1-2 3, Frank 1 0-2 2. Totals 10 5-12 25.
Hiben 1 2-2 4, Kaiser 0 0-2 0, Hurtgen 1 0-0 3, Zavodny 1 0-0 3, Hiben 1 2-2 4, Bri.Hakanson 6 2-2 14, Bro.Hakanson 6 0-0 14, Nusberger 2 0-0 4, Bird 0 2-3 2. Totals 18 8-11 48.
St. Croix Central 6 3 11 5 25
Boyceville 11 4 18 15 48
Three-point goals -- Hurtgen, Zavodny, Bro.Hakanson 2. Fouled out -- none. Total fouls -- St. Croix Central 12, Boyceville 15.