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St. Croix Central girls basketball wants to forget last Friday

You couldn’t blame the St. Croix Central girls basketball team if it held a bonfire after last Friday’s game at Boyceville, as long as they could burn the scorebook, game film and any other evidence of their performance.

To say the least, things didn’t go as the Panthers had planned in a 61-34 loss to the Bulldogs. The setback drops the Panthers to 2-7 in Dunn-St. Croix Conference games while the Bulldogs now stand at 6-3.

“I thought we had a good chance to get a win,” Central coach Luke Fritsche said.

The Panthers had given Boyceville a good battle the first time they met, losing 43-36. Central’s coaches had set a plan to use full-court pressure to torment Boyceville, while trying to keep the ball away from standout Bulldog point guard Abbey Bird.

There was one hitch in the plan. Teams press after made shots. The Panthers weren’t hitting enough shots to make the press effective. This was a game where the Panthers’ weak free throw shooting really devastated their chances. The Panthers were 9-25 from the free throw line. More made free throws would have caused more chances for the Panthers to clamp on their press.

Central coach Luke Fritsche was almost to the point of being speechless in trying to explain what happened.

“Relative to the team I have, it was one of the more disappointing games I’ve experienced here,” he said.

Fritsche wasn’t alone in taking the loss hard. The players were right there with him.

“They were embarrassed, but they were looking forward to what they can do to fix it,” he said.

Fritsche was encouraged by that attitude, especially because the Panthers have several upcoming games where they have a solid chance of winning. That starts on Thursday when they play at Elmwood. The Panthers defeated Elmwood 51-14 in the opening round of D-SC games and Elmwood is winless in conference action this season. This game will be played at 6 p.m. as part of a varsity basketball double-header, with the boys game starting at 7:30 p.m.

The Panthers will play at home next Monday, making up a previous postponement against Prescott. This game will be played at St. Croix Central Middle School, and it will be Alumni and Retro Night for the Panthers.

As far as statistics from Friday’s game at Boyceville, Emma Landry led the Panthers with 10 points and eight rebounds. McKenzy Johnson scored eight points and Kayla Pabst contributed seven rebounds.

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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