Matchups key to the success of St. Croix Central girls basketball teamThe strengths of their opponent have determined how successful the St. Croix Central girls basketball team has been in its recent games.
The strengths of their opponent have determined how successful the St. Croix Central girls basketball team has been in its recent games.
Teams that rely heavily on guard play have been good matchups for the Panthers. But teams that have relied on tall players and post scoring have given the Panthers more difficulty.
Last week the Panthers played two leading Dunn-St. Croix Conference teams that have markedly different styles. Mondovi banks heavily on its guard play and the Panthers were able to stick right with the Buffalo girls to the end of last Tuesday’s game, which Mondovi won 48-41.
The Panthers had more trouble when they faced Elk Mound last Friday. The Mounders have two strong post players, along with a quality stable of guards and they ran away from the Panthers, 66-39.
Central has played two of its best games this season against Mondovi, which is currently in second place in the D-SC with a 9-2 record. Central had the upper hand for parts of the first half. They led 18-17, before Mondovi ended the first half with a 7-0 run.
Central coach Luke Fritsche said the team was frustrated at giving up the lead just before halftime.
“When you play a good team, you can’t relax for a minute,” Fritsche said.
The Panthers fought back, keeping the score close until the final moments.
Leading the Panther effort was senior Taylor Refsnider, who moved back into the post following the recent injury to Kayla Pabst. Refsnider finished the game with 14 points and eight rebounds.
“Taylor played the best game of her career,” Fritsche said. “She’s feeling a lot more confident now that she’s back in the post.”
Senior Arinn DiSalvo led the Panthers with nine rebounds. Senior Laura DeSmith contributed 11 points, six assists and three steals.
The Panthers were able to cause a number of turnovers with better execution of their 1-3-1 trapping defense.
In Friday’s game the Panthers weren’t able to match up with Elk Mound’s tall post players Josie Hayes and McKenna McVeigh. They combined for 40 points and 21 rebounds. Elk Mound point guard Kaysi Meindel also scored 20 points.
Elk Mound got out to a double-digit lead early in the game and led 38-22 at halftime.
DiSalvo had her biggest offensive game of the year for the Panthers at Elk Mound. She hit 7-9 shots, all from the perimeter, to finish with 14 points.
The Panthers will be back in action this Thursday, playing at home against Plum City.