Walen's career night leads Panthers past PrescottThe St. Croix Central boys basketball team has been looking for more scoring from its post players. Senior Brad Walen took care of that request single-handedly last Tuesday.
The St. Croix Central boys basketball team has been looking for more scoring from its post players.
Senior Brad Walen took care of that request single-handedly last Tuesday. Walen scored a career-high 24 points in leading the Panthers past Middle Border Conference co-leader Prescott, 52-48.
The win gives the Panthers a 3-3 record for their 2010 portion of the season.
Central coach Mike Fern breaks the basketball season into three sub-seasons: the 2010 games, the 2011 games and the playoffs. He said he was satisfied with the 2010 third of the season, but is looking for more from the team in 2011. He said the win over Prescott might be a stepping stone to a better 2011.
“I told the kids I didn’t care if we win or lose, only to play hard,” Fern said.
The Panthers answered that call and with their intensity, they were able to finish off the win. The Panthers trailed 26-25 at halftime.
It was during the third quarter that the Panthers stepped up. They outscored Prescott 20-14 to take control. The Panthers scored seven points in the fourth quarter and they all came on free throws.
Walen’s scoring might have blossomed in this game, but it has been an on-going project. Fern said it was a matter of Walen going stronger to the hoop and putting his shots higher off the glass that was the difference.
“He’s got good feet and he’s got all the moves,” Fern said. “I think this will help his confidence.”
Also emerging as an offensive threat was Ethan Lindahl, who scored 13 points. Lindahl showed promise in the opening game of the season, scoring eight points against Spring Valley. He’s been a non-factor offensively since, until Tuesday. Fern said Lindahl has the ability to contribute at this level every game and is looking for more consistency from him.
Walen and Lindahl stepped up, taking pressure of guards Kyle Cress and Aaron Johnson. The guards got the brunt of Prescott’s defensive attention. The Panther coaches hope the emergence of more scoring threats will give the guards more room to move.
Fern said the Panthers will use the holiday break to work in several more offensive plays. The Panthers don’t play again until Jan. 4, when they host Plum City.