Panthers ring up a big win at Elk Mound
It has been a long time since the St. Croix Central girls basketball team was on the winning side of a lopsided score.
The Panthers broke open their game at Elk Mound last Friday and they never stopped playing at a high level. Central led 15-4 after the first quarter and outscored the Mounders in every quarter to win 67-37.
The win keeps the Panthers above .500 in the Dunn-St. Croix conference at 4-3. They are 5-4 overall.
"It was definitely the best all-around game we've played all year," said Central coach Shannon Berg. "We started out real strong and didn't look back."
Central's leading scorers, Rachel Anderson and Ella Olson, each scored 18 points in the game. All nine of the Panthers who played in the game got into the scoring column, a first for the team this season.
The Panthers did everything well. Their shooting was exceptional, making 23-47 shots from two-point range. When Olson got in foul trouble in the second quarter, sophomore Dani Brown took over at point guard. She finished with a career-high eight assists.
Berg said the Panthers did an outstanding job of running the fast break. She said the girls got the ball upcourt quickly. She was most pleased that the girls recognized when shots weren't available, getting the ball back out to the perimeter to run the set offense.
The Panthers also dominated the rebounding. Anderson led the team with 11 rebounds and Olson and Brown each hauled in seven rebounds. Olson also was tops on the team with five steals.
Last Tuesday the Panthers were visited by Mondovi's girls. This was a tough defensive game until Mondovi pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 58-41 win.
"Mondovi is 9-1 for a reason, to play a team like that you have to be ready to play and play almost perfect," Berg said.
The Panthers struggled all night to get their offense functioning. Mondovi is a strong defensive team and the Panthers were able to match Mondovi's defensive effort for most of the game. The Panthers led 7-5 after one quarter, on two hoops by Liz Frank and three free throws from Dani Brown.
Mondovi outscored the Panthers 15-7 in the second quarter to lead 20-14 at halftime. The second half remained close, with the Panthers having the margin at six points in the fourth quarter. Mondovi then shot well in the final minutes to pull away.
Brown led the Panthers with 11 points in the game. Anderson, who ranks fourth in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference in scoring, rang up 10 points. Anderson also led the team with six rebounds. Heather Kircher contributed five rebounds and three blocked shots.
This Thursday the Panthers will play at home against Spring Valley, in a game that will be "Senior Night." The Panthers play at Elmwood this Saturday.
St. Croix Central 67, Elk Mound 37
ST. CROIX CENTRAL (67)
A.Olson 2 4-4 8, Eddy 1 1-3 3, Gillis 2 2-2 7, E.Olson 7 4-4 18, Brown 1 0-0 2, Kircher 2 0-0 4, Rothbauer 0 1-2 1, Anderson 7 4-8 18, Frank 2 2-5 6. Totals 24 18-28 67.
ELK MOUND (37)
Kopp 1 0-1 2, Green 1 2-4 4, Turek 1 0-0 3, Suckow 2 2-2 6, Douglas 1 0-0 2, Slattery 1 0-0 2, Irwin 3 2-2 8, Melgaard 3 4-8 10. Totals 13 10-17 37.
St. Croix Central 15 13 22 17 67
Elk Mound 4 6 17 10 37
Three-point goals -- Gillis, Turek. Fouled out -- Turek. Total fouls -- St. Croix Central 17, Elk Mound 21.