Panthers need more offense after 46-37 lossWhile the defense did what it was expected to do, the St. Croix Central offense could never get on track in a home-court loss to Elk Mound last Friday, 46-37.
While the defense did what it was expected to do, the St. Croix Central offense could never get on track in a home-court loss to Elk Mound last Friday, 46-37.
The Panthers had only three players who scored more than two points in the loss.
Aaron Johnson led the Panthers with 14 points and Kyle Cress scored 12 points. Cress hadn’t practiced all week because of a sprained ankle. He ended up playing the entire game. Panther coach Mike Fern said he kept Cress on the court because he knew the ankle would stiffen up if Cress spent any time on the bench.
With Spring Valley and Colfax establishing themselves as the favorites in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference, the Panthers and Mounders are teams jostling to get to the top of the next tier of teams. The Panthers and Mounders are both 2-2 in the conference standings following Friday’s game.
The Mounders got a big lift with the return of Marcus Mauer, who was playing in his first game of the season. Mauer and Andrew Strom each scored 12 points as the Mounders’ leading offensive threats.
Elk Mound built a lead as big as 12 points during the game. The Panthers made a charge in the fourth quarter, getting within three points.
“Offensively, we didn’t get the job done,” Fern said. “This team can get a lot better.”
Fern said the bright side to the start of the season is the team is 2-2 in the conference, in spite of having several key players missing extensive time in December.
“Maybe after Christmas we can put it all together,” Fern ventured.
The Panthers are now in their holiday break. Their next game comes on Tuesday, Jan. 4, when they host Plum City.