Panthers 2-1 after holding back Elmwood
A year ago they might have wilted.
When Elmwood made it's charge and took a 1-point lead in the third quarter against St. Croix Central last Tuesday, it was a make-or-break point for Central's girls.
This year, the Panther girls took Elmwood's charge as a challenge. The Panthers took control of the game in the final two minutes of the third quarter, rolling to a 55-46 win over Elmwood. With the win the Panthers are now 2-1 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. The two wins match Central's conference win total for all of last season.
Central coach Shannon Berg said the maturity the team has gained over the past year showed when Elmwood tried to overtake the Panthers.
"This year you could see in their faces that they weren't going to lose," Berg said.
Berg said Elmwood was able to create some defensive confusion among the Panthers during the third quarter. She credited the players for figuring out what Elmwood was doing and making the adjustments as the the game was going on.
Other than the first six minutes of the third quarter, Berg said the Panthers played a strong defensive game.
She was also pleased with the Panthers' rebounding. Rachel Anderson hauled down 14 rebounds and Katrina Brummer 10 rebounds as the Panthers effectively limited Elmwood to one shot per possession in the game.
The Panthers got a huge offensive start in the game, thanks to sophomore guard Ella Olson. Olson scored 14 points in the first quarter, including draining four three-pointers. She finished with a game-high 23 points.
Junior center Rachel Anderson took the scoring role in the second quarter, scoring nine of her 10 points in the quarter. Their collective efforts led the Panthers to a 28-21 lead at halftime.
Elmwood was able to gobble up that lead in the early stages of the third quarter, taking a 1-point lead. Central then regained control of the game, leading 41-37 after three quarters.
Tracy Gillis was the ignitor for the Panther offense, finishing the game with six assists. Anderson led the Panthers with three steals.
The Panthers will try to keep adding to their conference win total this week. On Thursday the Panthers are at home against Plum City. The Panthers will also be at home on Saturday, facing Boyceville. Both games begin at 7:30 p.m.
St. Croix Central 55, Elmwood 46
ST. CROIX CENTRAL (55)
Gillis 1 4-5 6, Kooiman 1 0-0 2, Olson 9 1-1 23, Brown 1 1-2 3, Holzer 1 0-0 2, C.Brummer 0 0-0 0, K.Brummer 1 0-2 2, Anderson 4 2-8 10, Strickland 3 0-1 7. Totals 21 8-19 55.
Schmitz 2 0-0 5, Hannack 3 0-0 7, Wolf 3 2-4 8, Auth 6 0-2 13, Hardy 1 0-0 2, Garfiel 2 0-2 4, Yarrington 3 1-8 7. Totals 20 3-16 46.
St. Croix Central 16 13 12 14 55
Elmwood 10 11 16 9 46
Three-point goals -- Olson 4, Strickland, Schmitz, Hannack, Auth. Fouled out -- Hannack, Wolf. Total fouls -- St. Croix Central 17, Elmwood 20.