For the first time since the opening two games of the season, Ellsworth strung together a pair of wins. The latest coming Tuesday during a trip to River Falls in which the Panthers narrowly edged past the Wildcats, 48-46.
Ellsworth jumped out to an early 10-point lead but that was trimmed to four points by halftime. Then, with just over five minutes to go in the second half, the Panthers were the ones facing a 10-point deficit. Full-court pressure and successful free throws put Ellsworth in position to win, as Brianna Giese intercepted a River Falls pass that she tossed over to Autumn Earney for the game-winning bucket.
"This game defined what we talk about in terms of basketball being a game of runs,” Ellsworth head girls' basketball coach Jason Janke said. “In the first half, if we play with some more patience, hit a few more shots, we may just run away with it. But that doesn’t usually happen against a very solid team like River Falls. I don’t think many people would have bet on us with three or five minutes to go in this game.”
Molly Janke led Ellsworth in scoring with 20 points, followed by Earney's 16. Ava Brookshaw and Giese added another five points apiece. Janke was also the team leader in rebounds with 11, followed by Lily Puhrmann with seven.
Ellsworth, 6-4, is next scheduled to travel to Prescott on Friday. In the prior matchup between the two teams on Dec. 15, the Cardinals won 79-38.
E/PC continues to slide
After coming out of the holiday break with a win, Elmwood/Plum City has been on a downward slide with three consecutive losses. The third loss of the bunch came on Tuesday when the Wolves hosted Dunn-St. Croix Conference foe Durand. The Panthers’ extended their conference-leading win total with the 66-22 win over the Wolves.
Durand raced out to a 40-13 lead and coasted in the second half, outscoring E/PC 26-9. Anna Blanford was the Wolves' leading scorer with seven points.
E/PC, 3-6, is scheduled to travel to Boyceville on Friday to face a Bulldog team that is on a five-game losing streak.
Prescott blows out Amery
If there was any question about whether Prescott would come out of the holiday break flat with only two games over the course of 13 days, the Cardinals resoundly squashed any concern on Tuesday night.
It was never really a contest as the Cardinals built an insurmountable 55-8 lead by halftime. Amery for its part, failed to match its scoring output in the second half as Prescott sent in the reserves to the tune of 17 points in the final 18 minutes.
Individual stats were unavailable.
Prescott, 9-2, hosts Baldwin-Woodville on Thursday before hosting Ellsworth on Friday to close out the week.
Colfax 75, Spring Valley 24
New Richmond 50, Baldwin-Woodville 47
Osceola 67, St. Croix Central 36
Elk Mound 55, Boyceville 31
Mondovi 77, Glenwood City 36