St. Croix Central boys basketball hopes to rise in Dunn-St. Croix ConferenceThere appears to be a great divide among the Dunn-St. Croix Conference boys basketball teams.
There appears to be a great divide among the Dunn-St. Croix Conference boys basketball teams.
After a month of the season, four of the D-SC teams have four wins or more, led by Elk Mound at 6-0. The other five teams have one win or less.
St. Croix Central is in the bottom group of the D-SC teams, with the hopes that they can begin separating themselves from that pack.
Last Friday the Panthers had one of the tougher assignments in the D-SC, playing at Colfax. The Vikings are defending conference champions and they looked ready to defend their title in a 48-23 win over Central.
Facing the defending conference champions might have put a bit of a fright into the Panthers on Friday. The Panthers settled for perimeter shots instead of driving to the basket. The hurried shots by the Panthers had trouble hitting the mark, with Central making a season-low 20 percent of their field goal attempts (8 for 40).
“Our youth showed. We didn’t get the ball into the post well enough,” said second year Panther coach Zach Turpin.
Colfax brings back considerable experience, led by Ethan Kiekhafer and Austin Huss, who combined for 25 points.
Colfax outscored Central 18-6 in the first quarter. By halftime, the Vikings had stretched the lead to 34-11.
There was one glimmer of promise in the team’s offensive performance on Friday. The Panthers took care of the ball much better than in previous games, committing just 13 turnovers.
Turpin said the turnover reduction reflects the Panthers’ ability to learn from their mistakes. He said the ability to absorb coaching has been a positive, considering the Panthers’ limited varsity experience entering the season. Turpin said the next lesson he hopes the Panthers learn is to be more consistent in their effort from game-to-game and to become more dedicated to rebounding the ball.
The Panthers play another of the teams in the bottom pack of the D-SC this Thursday when they get a visit from the Boyceville Bulldogs. The Panthers then head into a two-week holiday break, before resuming their schedule on Jan. 4 at Elmwood.