Week 2 girls basketball roundup

Prescott, Ellsworth chalk up wins against conference foes

Spring Valley goes toe-to-toe with Chetek-Weyerhaeuser

By Joe Peine
Posted 11/30/23

The Prescott Cardinals beat the Somerset Vikings by a score of 66-64 on Tuesday night in Prescott.

It was the first Middle Border Conference match of the season for the Cardinals, and it was a …

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Week 2 girls basketball roundup

Prescott, Ellsworth chalk up wins against conference foes

Spring Valley goes toe-to-toe with Chetek-Weyerhaeuser


The Prescott Cardinals beat the Somerset Vikings by a score of 66-64 on Tuesday night in Prescott.

It was the first Middle Border Conference match of the season for the Cardinals, and it was a good one. Somerset got up early taking a 6-4 advantage through the first 10 points of the game. Cadyn Hillebrand reclaimed the lead for the red birds with the first of three three-pointers on the night with 12:20 to go in the first period.

Prescott scored eight of the next 11 points, pulling out to a 15-9 lead. Back-to-back steals by Hillebrand and a three-pointer by Avery Pattridge pushed the Prescott lead to 10 at 27-17 with just 5:00 left in the period.

That would be the zenith of the Cardinals’ dominance on the night as Somerset started inching back. Early in the second half, Somerset pulled within six, and by midway through the period they had taken the lead.

It was a 53-48 Somerset lead with 8:47 remaining in the game when Prescott grabbed the momentum back as sophomore Violet Otto stepped up and sunk back-to-back three-pointers to take a 54-53 lead. Otto followed this up with a steal to protect their lead, Lila Posthuma added another three-pointer on for the Cardinals to put the game away, and they held on for the 66-64 win.

In total, Prescott got 40 rebounds, 18 assists, eight steals and four blocks. They shot a somewhat disappointing 35% from the field and 58% on free throws, but they made up for it sinking nearly 40% of their massive 39 three-point attempts.

Posthuma predictably led the Cardinals in rebounds and assists, but it was budding star Otto who was the player of the game. She scored 25 total points including shooting 57% from the field, made both of her free throw attempts and went 7-10 on three-point attempts. She also chipped in five rebounds and led the team in steals with three.

Head Coach Owen Hamilton looks at this game and loves the tenacity with which his team finished.

“I think the thing that stood out most was that it was a gritty win. A lot of teams might’ve thrown in the towel once they got down, but we fought back and won it,” Hamilton said. “We hit some shots down the stretch and made some plays that really allowed us to seal the deal, and we had some girls step up in big moments.”

Even though it was a good win for the team, Hamilton says they still have some things they’re working on.

“We’re still working on a lot. We need to be better at rebounding, and the girls are aware of that. That’s one area they’re really pushing themselves to be better at, and then just in general tightening up on the offensive and defensive end,” Hamilton said.

Coach Hamilton says that even though it wasn’t perfect, it was a good win for a Prescott team that was still looking to get in the win column for the first time this season. Fortunately, it just so happened to coincide with the beginning of conference play.

“I think we’re sitting well right now. Unfortunate losses to Elk Mound and Hudson, but they’re both great teams. Somerset is another great team and to get the win really puts us in the right spot to gain some momentum,” Hamilton said.

Prescott will look to build on this win when they go on the road to take on the St. Croix Central Panthers this Tuesday at 7 p.m.


The Ellsworth Panthers beat the Altoona Railroaders by a score of 58-36 on Tuesday in Ellsworth.

Ellsworth took a commanding lead right away behind three consecutive three-point shots by Emma Brown punctuated by steals by Aubrey Wittenberg and Maria Harrington. With this, the Panthers took the score from 2-0 to 11-2, but they weren’t done yet. Senior Molly Janke made four of the next six points for the home team, and they led 17-4 half-way through the first period.

The rest of the first half was pretty much even as Ellsworth led 29-18 at the break. Janke made nine points in that stretch which included going seven for seven from the charity stripe. Brown added another three-pointer to lead all scorers with 12 at the half.

Early in the second half, Altoona had a run of six points to pull within nine at 35-26. However, Ellsworth scored eight straight points including three-pointers by Janke and Ava Brookshaw to take a commanding 43-26 lead. Ellsworth made nine of 10 free throws down the stretch and pulled away for the 58-36 win.

In total, it was a very solid night for the Panthers who made 32 rebounds, 15 assists, and 10 steals. They were also hyper efficient shooting 47% from the field, made a whopping 75% of their three-point attempts and a jaw dropping 16-17 on free throws.

Janke led Ellsworth with a double-double, scoring 22 points and reeling in 11 rebounds. She also led the team in steals with seven and was a perfect 7-7 on free throws. Brown was second on the team in scoring with 12, every one via the three-point shot.

Head Coach Jason Janke says that, although the offense got the job done, the performance on the other side of the ball is what won the game for the Panthers.

“Our girls really played good defense and took rebounding the ball very seriously. With them having a 6'5" center, that was critical,” Janke said. “Other than the first half display by Brown and second by Janke, our ability to not get broken by their press also stood out. They put a lot of defensive pressure on us, and though we made some mistakes, we never let things go the wrong way for very long. Our kids showed great maturity, and our captains keep all their teammates positive.” 

The improvement on free throws is another thing that really stood out to Coach Janke.

“We had a nice FT-shooting night, no question, but it came one game after we were 11-23. I'd love to take more credit for it, but I think our kids just got themselves dialed-in for the game,” Janke said. “We were happy to get a win against Altoona, but we know that our entire league is so good. We just have to execute and play hard each night, hope we can come out on top a few more times.” 

With this win, the Panthers improve to 2-1 on the season, but 1-0 in conference play. Conference play continues Tuesday at Amery before they return home for a non-conference game against Durand-Arkansaw on Thursday. Tip off for both games is 7 p.m.


Spring Valley

The Spring Valley Cardinals lost a close game to the Chetek-Weyerhaeuser Bulldogs on Tuesday in Chetek with a final score of 37-33.

It was the tale of two halves offensively for the Cardinals who barely scored double digit points in the opening frame but surged in the second half and almost took the win. It was a good defensive game all the way through against Chetek and they got started on that right from the jump.

The game opened with Rylie Fritz getting a steal and Maddie Shafer capitalizing on that momentum with a three-pointer to take the first lead of the night. This did not last though, and the second half started with a 20-12 lead for the Bulldogs.

Addie Neidermeyer and Mara Ducklow went back-to-back on steals to keep Chetek from adding on, and Ducklow followed that up with her first of three three-pointers in the second period. Neidermeyer, Shafer and Taylor Traynor added to the defensive efforts with two more steals and a block before Ducklow and Kate Cipriano’s back-to-back three-pointers trimmed the lead to seven at 30-23.

The Cardinals kept pushing going on a 13-4 run from 30-17 all the way to 34-30 with under a minute remaining in regulation. The clock was running towards zero when Ducklow came up big with another three-point shot to trim the lead to one at 34-33 with just 0:30 to go. Unfortunately, Chetek scored again and held on for the 37-33 victory.

This was an impressive second half effort by the Cardinals who hope to build on this success as conference play approaches. It was also a game in which they led Chetek in all three offensive categories, outperforming them in free throw percentage 50-42, field goal percentage at 28-18 and three-point percentage at 36-15.

Head Coach Sean Hoolihan was impressed by his team’s resilience and never say die attitude.

“Our girls battled and fought back the whole game. It could have been easy to give in, but they kept battling and we had our chances at the end,” Hoolihan said. “We had way too many turnovers, which was the difference in the game.”

Even with this loss, the growth is evident. Hoolihan notes that when they get fully healthy this team will be taking yet another step forward.

“Our kids keep improving on the defensive end and see glimmers on the offense end. Mara has done a great job of leading, while others are injured,” Hoolihan said.

The Cardinals have three more non-conference games this week to get healthy and build on this success before conference play starts next Tuesday. They are at home against Clear Lake on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. and Alma-Pepin on Friday at 7:15 p.m., and they will travel to Colfax to play Bloomer on Saturday at 1:45 p.m.

Prescott Cardinals, Ellsworth Panthers, Spring Valley Cardinals, girls basketball, Middle Border, Dunn St. Croix