Central boys basketball looking for difference makersWith more than a week between games, the St. Croix Central boys basketball coaches are looking for “difference makers.”
With more than a week between games, the St. Croix Central boys basketball coaches are looking for “difference makers.”
The Panthers are locked in the grasp of a 10-game losing streak and the coaches are trying to find a way out of it.
The tenth loss in the streak came on Monday, when the Panthers fell at Plum City 58-48. It was another game where the Panthers didn’t play terribly, but they couldn’t come up with ways to stop one of the contenders in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. Plum City is one of three teams tied for second place in the conference standings with 8-4 records.
With eight days between games, Central coach Mike Fern said he is looking at this break as a chance to start the season over. Fern is convinced the Panthers have the talent to make it to the Division 3 regional title game.
The goal for the week off is to work on basic skills and rebuild the team’s focus for a strong stretch run.
In Monday’s game, Plum City pulled away from the Panthers in the second quarter and were able to maintain a lead in the 8-10 point range the rest of the way.
“Whenever we’d make a surge, they’d answer,” Fern said.
Senior Kyle Cress led the Panthers with 17 points on Monday. Aaron Johnson scored eight points and Brad Walen finished with seven points.
Last Friday the Panthers went to Elk Mound and had a disastrous night. The Mounders jumped out to an 11-0 lead and the Panthers were never a factor, losing 53-29.
Elk Mound put heavy pressure on the Panther guards in the game, with Cress and Johnson combining for four points. Most of Central’s scoring came in the post, where Walen and Brian Hauge combined for 20 points.
The game where the Panthers were hoping to break the shackles of the losing streak was last Tuesday, when they faced Mondovi. The Panthers led for large parts of the game, but Mondovi charged back in the fourth quarter to win at Central, 50-49.
Cress did his best to lead Central to the win. He finished the night with 22 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. No other Panther was able to score more than six points.
The Panthers have a tough task ahead of them when they return to the court next Tuesday. That’s when they host Colfax, the D-SC leader.