By Reagan Hoverman With less than one month remaining until the playoffs begin, local boys basketball teams are entering the most pivotal stretch of the year because one win or loss could swing the …
By Reagan Hoverman
With less than one month remaining until the playoffs begin, local boys basketball teams are entering the most pivotal stretch of the year because one win or loss could swing the standings and potentially decide which school emerges as a conference champion.
Perhaps the most intriguing conference title race is that of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. Both the Spring Valley Cardinals and Elmwood/Plum City Wolves have slowly climbed the standings and are now within striking distance of first place.
Starting with Spring Valley, head coach Rob Bosshart’s squad is now 103 for the year, including a 6-1 record in Dunn-St. Croix Conference action. The Cardinals are tied for second place in the conference standings and trail only Durand, which is currently 7-0 on conference play this season. Spring Valley is tied with Elmwood/Plum City for second place, both teams are 1.5 games back of first.
Spring Valley played the first three months of the season without star player Connor Ducklow, who was out with an injury he sustained during the football season. Now, Ducklow has returned and has made an immediate impact on the team. He is leading the team in scoring with 19.7 points per game.
Perhaps the biggest game of Spring Valley’s season is on Tuesday, Feb. 1, when the Cardinals host Elmwood/Plum City in a conference clash that will decide which team will be alone in second place in the conference standings. A win would put Spring Valley one step closer to catching Durand in the standings.
Spring Valley is coming off of a 7664 victory at home against Cumberland on Saturday, Jan. 29. While Ducklow has been scoring points in his first several games back from injury, the Saturday afternoon game was a coming-out party for Ducklow offensively. He finished the game with 31 points, eight rebounds, an assist and two steals. He was also efficient from the floor, getting his 31 on 12-21 shooting. Seven of his points came from the free throw line on nine total attempts.
Tyler Bowman was also effective from the floor. Bowman finished the game with 22 points on 10-13 shooting from the floor. He also grabbed three boards, had one assist and also made three steals. It appears that Spring Valley is hitting its stride at the perfect time.
While there are several significant games left on the schedule for the Cardinals, the Friday, Feb. 11, game at home against Durand will be one of the most important. That game could decide the conference championship if both teams enter the contest with conference records within one game of each other.
The next game on the schedule for Spring Valley is the aforementioned home game against Elmwood/Plum City on Tuesday, Feb. 1. That contest is expected to tip-off at 7:15 p.m.
Elmwood/Plum City chases Spring Valley, Durand While Spring Valley is chasing Durand, the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves are chasing both Spring Valley and Durand in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference standings. As of Monday, Jan. 31, the Wolves have an 11-4 overall record, which includes a 6-2 record in conference play.
Because not all teams have played the same amount of conference games, technically speaking, both Elmwood/Plum City and Spring Valley are tied in second place, even though the Wolves have one more victory and one more loss in the standings.
As was the same for Spring Valley, the biggest game of the year thus far for the Wolves is on Tuesday night when those two teams clash in a conference matchup that will have significant playoff implications.
In their first meeting of the season, Spring Valley defeated the Wolves 4533. Now, nearly two months later, both teams look different than they did in that first matchup. The key for the Wolves has been and will continue to be senior forward Luke Webb, who is averaging 18.2 points per game, 14.1 rebounds per game and 2.8 assists per game, all of which lead his team in averages for the season.
The Wolves are coming off of a 5655 victory on the road against conference opponent Elk Mound. The Wolves jumped out to a 31-20 lead after the first 18 minutes of action. In the second half, Elmwood/Plum City got outscored 35-25 but managed to hold on in the one-point road victory.
Webb was once again the standout for the Wolves in the win. He finished the game with 24 points on 10-13 shooting. He also grabbed 12 rebounds, dished for three assists, tallied four blocks and a steal. Jarrod Pelzel also had a good game. His 18 points were critical in the Wolves’ success. He also snagged four rebounds and made one steal.
For the Wolves, getting a win against Spring Valley on Tuesday night would be a huge step in the right direction in their quest for a Dunn-St. Croix Conference title.