Prescott girls’ basketball added a cherry on top of its first Middle Border Conference championship Thursday night when they traveled to New Richmond for the regular season finale and beat the Tigers 62-51. The Cardinals clinched the school’s first-ever MBC championship with a win versus Osceola Tuesday and ended the season undefeated in conference with the victory over New Richmond. Prescott first joined the MBC in the 2002-2003 season when it came over from the Dunn-St. Croix Conference.
“Personally, as to what we want to do as a team, this was the first goal that we had,” said head coach Rob Radloff. “Going into the season we weren’t really picked to finish at the top of the conference and win the conference and to be undefeated doing it is a huge accomplishment for us. As a whole it’s been great and now we just have to move on to tournament time and see where we can get with that.”
Prescott finished the regular season 19-3 overall and 14-0 in the MBC, three games ahead of second-place New Richmond (17-5, 11-3 MBC). The Cardinals led by 13 at halftime, 31-18, and then held off the Tigers from there for a 62-51 final.
New Richmond was able to keep junior Isabella Lenz in check, but she still had a double-double with 12 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and two assists. Fellow junior Nicole Dalman really stepped up with a double-double of her own on 21 points (8 of 16 from the field), 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Senior Ashley Rieken and junior Sydney Matzek each added 10 points apiece and combined to go 4-for-6 from the 3-point line.
Finding those reliable and consistent scoring options outside of Lenz has been a goal of Radloff and the Cardinals’ all season.
“I think we’re getting there, last night was a good game against New Richmond,” Radloff said. “Nicole Dalman has been playing well lately and some of the other girls have stepped up. I think they’re getting a little more confidence in their shot. So many teams are keying on Bella right now, we’re seeing a lot more box-and-1s and face-guarding of her, so we’ve been trying to run her off some screens and do what we can to free her up a little bit, but it definitely has to be where some other girls have to step up now and hopefully we get some of that moving forward.”
Prescott’s next game will be in the Division 3 regional semifinals as the No. 2 seed in its region against the winner of No. 7 Nekoosa (10-11, 5-4 South Central Conference) and No. 10 Black River Falls (5-17, 2-9 Coulee Conference) on Friday, Feb. 28. Should they win they would play in the regional championship on Saturday, Feb. 29.
St. Croix Central 56, Ellsworth 48
The Ellsworth Panthers (8-14, 5-9 MBC) girls’ basketball team finished their regular season with a 56-48 loss at St. Croix Central (2-20, 2-12 MBC) Thursday night. Since winning four in a row in January, the Panthers have lost seven of their last eight. Ellsworth is the No. 8 seed in the D3 playoffs and hosts No. 9 Altoona (6-16, 5-9 Cloverbelt Conference) on Tuesday. The winner would play at No. 1 Arcadia (18-3, 11-0 Coulee Conference) on Friday.
Durand 76, Elmwood/Plum City 40
The Elmwood/Plum City Wolves hosted the Durand Panthers Thursday night and fell 76-40. The Wolves trailed 21 at halftime. Sophomore Maggie Glaus led EPC with 11 points, four rebounds and four blocks. Senior Katie Feuker and junior Anna Blanford each added nine points. Feuker had three steals while Blanford grabbed three rebounds.
Elmwood/Plum City is a No. 8 seed in the D5 playoffs and hosts No. 9 Independence (10-12, 5-9 Dairyland Conference) on Tuesday. The winner plays at No. 1 Banger (19-1, 12-0 Scenic Bluffs Conference) on Friday.
Colfax 82, Spring Valley 30
The Spring Valley Cardinals (2-19, 1-13 DSC) traveled to Colfax (19-3, 14-0 DSC) to finish the regular season and lost 82-30. Spring Valley was held to under 20 points in both halves. Senior Kari Hybben was the only Cardinal in double-figures with 13 points while sophomore Andrea Hinzman added five points.
Spring Valley is the No. 11 seed in the D4 playoffs and goes to No. 6 Durand (14-8, 10-4 DSC) on Tuesday. The winner takes on No. 3 Osseo-Fairchild (17-4, 12-2 Cloverbelt Conference).
The Prescott Cardinals got a 66-49 home win over Osceola Tuesday night. Osceola was able to keep the game somewhat close in the first half as the Cardinals led just 25-19 at halftime. However, the Cardinals built upon that lead in the second half, outscoring the Chieftains 41-30 on their way to the win.
Junior Nicole Dalman had perhaps her best game of the season as she racked up a double-double with 21 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. Fellow junior Isabella Lenz had 17 points, six assists, three rebounds and two steals. Sophomore Erin Boatman and junior Tori Benck each added eight points for the Cardinals.
River Falls 64, Ellsworth 46
Ellsworth hosted the River Falls Wildcats Tuesday, which clinched the Big Rivers Conference championship before facing the Panthers. Ellsworth kept the game close in the first half, when they trailed 29-22 at halftime, but they were not able to mount a comeback in the second half and fell 64-46.
"We played a really sound first half," said head coach Jason Janke. “We were very patient on offense and had the flow of the game to where we needed it to be in order to win. Kaitlyn (Nugent) was able to get a few of her long sling-shot passes up to Autumn (Earney) for an early lead a couple of different times and we really held them at bay until late in the half."
Janke said that River Falls’ size wore his team down in the second half and took control with about 8 minutes left.
Junior Autumn Earney led Ellsworth with 17 points while senior Kaitlyn Nugent had 14 and fellow senior Holly Carlson five.