It has been a bumpy road so far this season for the Menomonie boys basketball team, as they have yet to see a victory eight games in.
The Mustangs (0-8, 0-4) wrapped up the week with a 71-62 defeat to the Superior Spartans (2-3) Thursday at Menomonie High School.
Superior jumped out to an 11-0 lead after seven minutes, driving to the lane for five close range field goals and an early charity basket. Menomonie struggled to drop in point blank shots and at 10:39 on the clock, they had accumulated more fouls than points.
Sam Zbornik broke the silence for Menomonie, drawing a foul to add one point and following that up with a 2-pointer on a drive through the lane. That sparked some life into the Mustangs and they rallied within two points of the Spartans at 13-11 with 7:32 left on the clock.
Superior lifted back up to a nine point lead, but Menomonie gained some momentum and chipped away at their lead to end the half down 32-30.
“It’s extremely tough to start off the game behind 0-11, but I proud of the way we battled back to cut it to 30-32 at half time,” coach Matt Riley said. “It’s all about confidence, we have to make those plays early on in the game.”
The Spartans controlled the first moments of the second half, sinking a pair of 2-pointers and one from the arc to go up by nine once again. Menomonie’s Jace Kressin found the net twice for five points, but Superior sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key and drove to the net for another seven points.
From there, Superior’s height and strength — especially in the lane — helped them maintain an eight-to-10 point lead for the remainder of the game.
Though four Mustangs hit double figures, so did the Spartans, with Superior’s Kaleb Zentowski scoring a game high 22 points.
Kressin led the Mustangs in scoring with 16 points, Sleichert followed with 13, Zbornik collected 11 and Brendan Johnston contributed 10.
Menomonie tallied eight 3-pointers all together, including three each from Kressin and Sleichert and two from Johnston. Superior made just four 3-pointers, but outshot Menomonie from the inside, sinking 22 field goals to Menomonie’s 15.
Superior was also given more opportunity at the free throw line, where they went 14-for-19 while Menomonie went 8-for-13.
Riley noted that consistency is what he is looking for from every player that steps onto the court if the Mustangs are to start winning games.
“When we run our actions and play great half court defense and we are very competitive, but when we have lapses on defense it leads to easy buckets ... and when we get behind we try to rush too much. We have to work on limiting the runs other teams get on us.”
The Mustangs hit the road Thursday for the Tomah Classic, a four-team tournament. They are scheduled to play Tomah on Thursday, followed by D.C. Everest on Friday.
Boyceville 41, Turtle Lake 37
After four consecutive losses in a row, the Bulldogs grasped their first win since Nov. 30 over the Lakers (4-3) Tuesday at Boyceville High School.
Luke Knudtson led the Bulldog offense with 16 points, including six field goals, one 3-pointer and one freebie. Bryce Boda followed with 13 points, all from the inside and free throw line.
The end of the week, however, ended on a sour note for the Bulldogs, dropping by just eight points (66-58) to the Somerset Spartans (4-4) at home Thursday.
Boyceville (2-5, 0-3) plays Northwood (3-5) at Clayton High School Thursday before returning to conference play Jan. 5 against Mondovi (4-3, 1-2) at home.
Colfax 75, Cornell 31
Success for the Vikings (6-3, 3-0) rolls on, as they blew away the Chiefs (3-4) Thursday at Colfax High School.
Colfax jumped out to a dominating 42-17 halftime lead and comfortably compounded the points in the second half.
“We shot the ball really well from the outside and also had a lot of offensive rebounds that helped,” coach Garrett Maas said. “It was nice to go into the break with all fourteen kids getting significant playing time.”
George Scharlau and Ben Thompson led the Viking offense with 27 and 21 points, respectively. Scharlau scored 18 points in the first half alone and finished up the second half with three 3-point shots. He ended the night with seven outside baskets and three from the inside.
Thompson threw in three 3-pointers and two 2-pointers in the first half, scored three more field goals in the second and polished scoring off with two charity points.
Taylor Sarauer made a trio of field goals for six points while Bryce Schindler and Jackson Hellman collected five points apiece.
The Vikings will have two full weeks of rest before returning in the new year to jump right into tough conference play with a matchup against Glenwood City (4-4, 2-1) at home Jan. 5.
St. Croix Central 47, Elk Mound 36
The Mounders (2-6, 1-2) got behind and couldn’t regain their ground Thursday as they fell in a nonconference matchup against the Panthers (4-1) at St. Croix Central High School.
“Central hit some shots early to get out to a lead,” coach Mike Kessler said. “After we quieted the storm, our kids battled hard and played even. I was very proud of the way our kids took on the challenge of being down early.”
Blake Rosenthal led scoring for the Mounders with 10 points. Brandon Redwine followed with seven while Ben Lambele collected six points.
Elk Mound heads to Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau (4-1) High School Friday for their last game of 2017 and return in 2018 for a conference game against Plum City/Elmwood at Plum City High School on Jan. 5.
Elk Mound 56, Somerset 31
Though the Mounders (6-2, 2-1) had a tough shooting night, their defenses held strong to hold the Spartans (2-6) off the glass to help bring them to a nonconference victory Thursday at Somerset High School.
Morgan Radtke led the Vikings offense with 18 points. Ashley Gunderson-Morris and Allie Weber chipped in nine points each while Crista Sweeney threw in seven points.
Elk Mound stays on the road Thursday for a game against Arcadia (7-2) and return home Jan. 2 for a matchup against Altoona (2-4).
Colfax 65, Plum City/Elmwood 32
The Vikings (3-3, 2-1) traveled to Plum City High School Thursday where they took a clear-cut victory over the Wolves (2-4, 1-2).
Morgan Schleusner led in scoring with 17 points. Alyssa Dachel followed with 14, Rachel Scharlau collected nine points, and Jayna Bowe finished with eight.
Colfax will return to action on Jan. 2 to host Bloomer (6-2) and will stay at home for a conference game against Glenwood City (3-5, 2-2) Jan. 4.
River Falls 137.25, Menomonie 129.65
Menomonie’s Grace Braatz was a key contributor in Tuesday’s gymnastics meet at River Falls, coming in first at beam with a score of 9.4, runner up in vault at 9.05 and third at bars with a score of 8.1.
Melody Greenwood took second in bars (8.2) and Chloe Oehler nailed down a fourth place finish on the floor (9.05).
Head coach Erin Liljedahl said both Harlee and Justice Quilling were also major contributors to the team’s final score.
“These girls are a huge part of the team as they cheer on every athlete and are supportive to all their teammates,” she said. “We will be working hard to hit technique and strength on bars as this was our lowest scoring event.”
The Mustangs have just over two weeks off from competition before returning in the new year to host Eau Claire North and Memorial on Thursday, Jan. 4.
Northwestern 48, Bloomer/Colfax 25
At Bloomer, Northwestern won six straight matches at the end of the dual to claim victory over Bloomer/Colfax.
Julio Hernandez (113), Ike Kramschuster (132) and Cal Lueck (138) all scored pinfall wins for Bloomer/Colfax. Sawyer Best (120) beat Braden Trautt in an 18-5 major decision, and Trey Hovde (126) won a 5-3 decision over Tjay Ziebarth.
Northwestern wrestlers took the final six matches—three by forfeit and three by pinfall—to win the dual.
Bloomer hosts a quad featuring Amery, Cameron and Unity on Thursday.