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Ellsworth blazes past New Richmond boys basketball, 77-56

New Richmond senior Connor McCann (44) finds an opening to get a shot away during last week’s game at River Falls.

About the hottest thing any New Richmond boys basketball fan has seen during the past week of frigid weather was the shooting of Ellsworth’s Chrystian Kulow.

Kulow torched the Tigers for 29 points last Friday as Ellsworth ran away from the Tigers, 77-56.

The loss drops New Richmond to 2-6 in Middle Border Conference action and 3-10 overall. Ellsworth stands at 6-2 in the MBC and 7-6 overall after Friday’s results.

Kulow is a notorious streak shooter. The Tigers let him get hot, and once he was ignited, there wasn’t much the Tigers could do to stop him. Kulow was 8-10 from behind the three-point arc in Friday’s game.

The first quarter didn’t give any indication that this would be a one-sided game. The Tigers have played excellent ball in the first quarter of nearly every game this season. It was the same case on Friday, with the Tigers holding a 16-15 lead after the first quarter.

The team’s coaches have wracked their minds to figure out why the Tigers have seen such a sharp drop in their play from the first to the second quarter in most of their games. This was another instance of that. With Kulow leading the way, Ellsworth scored 26 points in the second quarter. By halftime, the Tigers’ promising start had turned into a 41-26 deficit.

“I felt helpless, watching them score so effortlessly and so quickly,” New Richmond coach Rick Montreal said of Ellsworth’s second quarter charge.

The pattern continued through the third quarter. New Richmond actually outscored Ellsworth in the fourth quarter to bring the final margin down to 77-56.

The Tigers played Friday without senior guard Connor O’Loughlin, who was ill. That left them with few options on the perimeter. Montreal said the only Tiger who had any success stopping Kulow was senior Josh Geigle.

“Josh stepped up and wanted to guard him,” Montreal said. “I’m looking for anybody to step up and defend.”

Geigle also displayed the ability to be the Tigers’ offensive leader, finishing with 16 points. He also produced four assists, three steals and three blocked shots. Connor McCann added 11 points and Noah Berger scored seven points. Caleb Manecke finished with six points and five steals.

Most of Ellsworth’s opponents have struggled to stop the Panthers’ pair of tall post players, Kyle Murphy and Will Huppert. That’s one area where the Tigers did a respectable job, limiting Huppert to 11 points and Murphy to two points. Montreal said Ben Peterson did a good job of being physical in playing defense against Huppert.

The Tigers begin a stretch of four straight home games this Thursday when they host Durand. This game was rescheduled from Tuesday because of the frigid weather. The Tigers will also be at home next Tuesday when they face Baldwin-Woodville.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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