PLUM CITY, Wis. — Fans in attendance looking for a defensive showcase weren’t disappointed Thursday night, unless those fans were for the hometown Wolves. Spring Valley hit the road for a Dunn-St. Croix matchup and came ready to play defense, holding Elmwood/Plum City to their lowest scoring total since the season opener. E/PC managed just 18 first-half points en route to the 55-44 loss.
“They played really good defense. They played their keys real well, they knew who to guard, they knew how to play,” E/PC head boys basketball coach Kyle Webb said about the stingy Spring Valley defense. “You’ve got to give it to (Spring Valley head coach Rob) Bosshart, he’s been doing it a long time and they just knew what they were doing.”
Despite the rough first half, the Wolves held a 16-15 lead with five minutes left before the break. Spring Valley proceeded to go on a 10-2 run, however and claimed a lead that they would never relinquish.
Once the second half began, E/PC again struggled to find open shots as the ball screen wasn’t offering up any good looks. Instead, the Wolves were prone to long possessions in which they could only pass side-to-side, hoping a shot would fall in. With only four points in the first six minutes of the second half, it marked 11 minutes and only six points for the Wolves going back to the first half.
“There were a couple times where our offense stalled and I think our guys got a little intimidated, but you have to give (Spring Valley) credit where it’s due,” Webb said.
By game’s end, Luke Webb was the Wolves’ leading scorer with 11 points — nine of which came in the opening 10 minutes of the game. Basil Gilles and Zack Hartung each had eight points. Gilles went 4-for-4 at the free-throw line, while Hartung drained a pair of 3-pointers. Rounding out the scorers for E/PC were Tyler Bauer with six points, Austin Bartz with five, Elijah Gansluckner with four and Jarrod Pelzel with two.
Looking ahead, Kyle Webb said he is hoping to turn some of that intensity he’s seen from the team in recent games and practices into a nice run in the next stretch of games.
“They're really starting to turn up the intensity now, I saw that tonight our bench was really getting after it,” he said. “I hadn't quite seen that yet and I think we're coming to a crossroads and we’re gonna take off here.”
E/PC, 3-3, is right back in action Friday night at Glenwood City and then play again at home on Monday against Boyceville.
Wolves unable to string together wins
Elmwood/Plum City continued its win a game, lose a game trend on Tuesday with a 54-49 victory over Alma/Pepin. Now with five games under their belt, the Wolves have not won two games in a row or lost two in a row.
E/PC built a comfortable lead through the first half, taking a 32-24 lead into the break before slowing down in the second half. Their work in the first 18 minutes proved to be enough however as they secured the win.
Basil Gilles and Luke Webb tied for a team-high 16 points, followed by Tyler Bauer with 13 points and Dayne Whipple with nine. Whipple had a strong all-around performance as he led the team in rebounds (8), assists (4) and steals (2). Webb also collected six rebounds.