The offenses were scorching hot in Ellsworth’s tilt with Altoona in the second round of the WIAA Division 2 regional playoffs Friday night. The signs were pointing towards a high-scoring affair after the teams combined for 87 first-half points and they didn’t disappoint as Altoona ultimately edged Ellsworth 94-89, ending the Panthers season.
With all the scoring, it would be fair to think there were large runs by both teams. While lead changes were certainly in play, the largest deficit Ellsworth ever faced was eight points. Neither team went cold long enough for the other to create an insurmountable margin.
The back-and-forth affair began with Ellsworth trailing 17-11 with just under 12 minutes to play in the first half. The Panthers then went on their first important run of the game, and staked a 26-25 lead four minutes later. The two teams traded buckets in the final eight minutes of the half and Altoona took a 45-42 lead into the break.
In the second half, Ellsworth was down by multiple positions for the majority of the half and trailed 84-77 with four minutes to play. The Panthers then went on the last of their important runs of the game and got within two points as the scoreboard read 89-87 with 1:15 to play. Clutch free-throw shooting by the Railroaders limited Ellsworth from ever pulling closer and Altoona went on a 5-2 run to end the game.
Jack Janke led Ellsworth in scoring with 28 points while also adding seven rebounds. Spencer Schultz scored a season-high 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to record his first double-double of the season. Mason Anderson was the team leader in rebounds and assists with 11 and seven, respectively. He also scored 17 points. Sam Kollbaum also had a strong performance with nine points on the night.
With the loss, Ellsworth finished its season with a 9-11 record.
Ellsworth defeats Baldwin-Woodville in first round
Ellsworth entered the WIAA Division 2 regional playoffs with a bit of momentum as it won both of its games last week against quality opponents. But its last loss loomed large since that was the same opponent it would face in the first round of regionals.
On Tuesday, Ellsworth looked more like the team that defeated Baldwin-Woodville by 22 points in December, rather than the team that lost to the Blackhawks by 15 points 11 days ago. The end result was a 62-52 win by Ellsworth that advanced the Panthers to the second round of the regional playoffs.
Individual statistics were unavailable for this game.
E/PC gets behind early, can’t recover
Elmwood/Plum City was handed its most lopsided loss of the season in its matchup with Blair-Taylor in the second round of the WIAA Division 4 regional playoffs Friday night. The Wolves were competitive in spurts but the Wildcats were prepared with a response each time and won handily, 82-53.
The first sign of trouble for E/PC was that it didn’t score a point until four-and-a-half minutes into the game, putting them in an 8-2 hole right out of the gates. The Wolves recovered nicely though and trailed 12-8 with 10 minutes to go in the first half. Blair-Taylor put their stamp on the game however, and went on a 21-9 run to close out the half.
Once the second half began, E/PC trimmed what was a 16-point deficit down to 10 points in the opening three minutes. The comeback was a mirage though and Blair-Taylor proceeded to go on a 15-0 run over the next four minutes and never looked back.
Individual statistics will be added later.
With the loss, E/PC finished its season with a 10-10 record.
Wolves squeak into second round
Earlier this week, E/PC kept its two-win streak alive with a first-round WIAA Division 2 regional playoff win against Cochrane-Fountain City on Tuesday night. The 50-48 win put the Wolves in the regional semifinals for the second consecutive season.
In the first half of play, Cochrane-Fountain City was ahead by one point. The second half was much of the same as the two teams continued to be evenly matched. E/PC held a three-point advantage in the final 18 minute though to claim the win.
Basil Gilles scored a game-high 19 points to lead E/PC. Other Wolves to score points include: Dayne Whipple (11), Luke Webb (10), Tyler Bauer (5) and Elijah Gansluckner (5).
Austin Becker paced Cochrane-Fountain City with 16 points.