Playing Plum City a Xmas present for Panthers
With every player on the varsity lineup getting into the scoring column, St. Croix Central's 60-26 win over Plum City on Dec. 23 looked like a team Christmas party.
Central was clearly the superior team physically in this game. Panther coach Mike Fern said his goal was to get more players involved in the scoring. Point guard Ryan Fedie took the initiative in this game, scoring a career-high 20 points.
"This isn't a team where one person can dominate, we need different guys to step up every night," Fern said.
Derek Raebel added 11 points and Steve Gulich came off the bench to score seven points. Gulich also led the team with three assists. Cameron Sarnstrom hauled down six rebounds to lead the team.
Where every player has stepped up every game for the Panthers is at the defensive end of the court. For the second time this season, the Panthers held their opponents to eight points in the first half.
"We've worked harder on defense this year than we ever had," Fern said. "I think we've gotten pretty good at it."
The Panthers have really worked to improve their footwork and positioning on defense, making it nearly impossible for opponents to get the ball into the lane area.
Fern said he was happy that he could get seniors Andy Adams and Adam Brown extended playing time in this game. Fern said it is uncommon to see seniors stay out for a team when they aren't playing main roles, but he credited Adams and Brown with being hard-working players in practice who help make the team better.
The Panthers took control early, building a 9-3 lead in the first six minutes of the game. The Panthers scored the first 11 points of the second quarter to make their lead 24-6. By halftime that advantage was up to 30-8.
Fedie scored 11 points in the third quarter as the Panthers advanced the lead to 49-17.
With the win the Panthers climb to 3-1 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference and 4-1 overall.
Fern said he hoped the Panthers would have that record when they hit the holiday break. He said the team will get its best test thus far with a three-game stretch next week. The week starts with a game at Elk Mound next Tuesday, Jan. 6. That's followed by a home game with Glenwood City on Thursday, Jan. 8. Then on Saturday, Jan. 10, the Panthers play at undefeated Somerset.
St. Croix Central 60, Plum City 26
PLUM CITY (26)
Glaus 2 2-2 6, Churchill 2 0-1 5, Pelzel 0 1-2 1, Daleiden 0 2-2 2, Wirth 1 0-0 3, Hartung 3 3-7 9. Totals 8 8-14 26.
ST. CROIX CENTRAL (60)
Adams 1 0-0 2, Cody 1 1-2 4, Fedie 8 1-1 20, Brown 2 0-0 4, Gulich 3 0-0 7, Meyer 2 1-1 5, Ullom 1 1-2 3, Raebel 3 4-5 11, Sarnstrom 1 0-0 2, Bowman 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 8-11 60.
Plum City 6 2 9 9 26
St. Croix Central 13 17 19 11 60
Three-point goals -- Churchill, Wirth, Cody, Fedie 3, Gulich, Raebel. Fouled out -- Sarnstrom. Total fouls -- Plum City 12, St. Croix Central 15.