‘The real’ Wolves put up NBA numbers, but fall in OT

SV, Ellsworth reflect on season’s successes

By Joe Peine
Posted 3/6/24

The Elmwood-Plum City Wolves defeated the Assumption Royals in Round 1 of the regional playoffs on Tuesday 74-72, but then were eliminated in overtime on Friday night by the Cochrane-Fountain City …

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‘The real’ Wolves put up NBA numbers, but fall in OT

SV, Ellsworth reflect on season’s successes


The Elmwood-Plum City Wolves defeated the Assumption Royals in Round 1 of the regional playoffs on Tuesday 74-72, but then were eliminated in overtime on Friday night by the Cochrane-Fountain City Pirates 84-73.

The Wolves fought hard, won a nail biter against Assumption and nearly advanced to the regional championship game; they came up just a bit short in the end though.

EPC got up early in Round 1, taking a 45-37 lead into halftime. However, the Royals battled back in the second period and nearly stole the win as the Wolves held on to a two-point victory.

Lucas Glaus was on another planet against Assumption, going 12-14 on field goals, 12-14 from the line and 2-3 from the perimeter. He finished with 38 points and 12 rebounds to complete the double-double and lead the Wolves to victory. Blake Allen also had a nice game, shooting well in all facets of the game putting up 19 points to go along with a team leading five assists and two steals.

The semifinal round was a high scoring affair that wasn’t over when the buzzer rang.

Following a first period that saw the Wolves go into halftime down by seven at 32-25, EPC put up a massive 45 points in the second half. Meanwhile, the Pirates put up 38 of their own, and the clock expired with a 70-70 tie, forcing the game into overtime.

Unfortunately, the Wolves lost their momentum in OT while the Bucs went on a 14-3 run and eliminated EPC in the process.

It was a wild way to end the season for EPC as their two star players put up NBA numbers. Allen scored 28 points without a single free throw while Glaus put up another 30+ point game shooting well from the field, the line and the perimeter in the process.

Head Coach Kyle Webb says his guys stepped up and showed their true colors in the postseason.

“The team that played on Tuesday and Friday was the real EPC Wolves. I could not be more proud of them, especially coming back from a double digit deficit in both games,” Webb said.

With the season at an end, EPC will be losing eight seniors before next year. They are Caden LeBlanc, Dominic Forster, Victor Plasencia, Aiden Maxwell, Riley Bechel, Aaden Birtzer, Mason Clare as well as the Wolves number two shooter in Allen.

Coach Webb says that going into next season, they are going to have some young guys stepping up, which means the current juniors will have to take on leadership roles for the freshmen and sophomores. The guys will also participate in a summer league as well as some tournaments.

“Obviously, Lucas Glaus will take on a senior leadership role next year, but I also expect Dylan Zeilinger and Jacob Steele to step up as well. We also might be calling on some of our current freshmen to put in quality playing time,” Webb said. “Overall, our team showed their true selves in the postseason. They could have laid down and gotten stomped, but they stepped up and proved that they were much better than a single digit win team.” 

Spring Valley

The Spring Valley Cardinals defeated the McDonnel Central Macks at home in the semifinal round of the regional tournament on Friday, with a final score of 53-46.

It was closer than they probably would’ve liked, but the Cardinals drew a tough three-seed position in the bracket and faced the six-seed right out of the gate after their first-round bye.

After the first period of play, Spring Valley held just a one-point lead over the Macks. They were able to work their way into a more comfortable lead as the second half progressed, and the Cardinals ended up winning by three scores.

Jameson Bauer led the team in scoring in the semifinal round with 15. Cade Stasiek came in as a close second with 14 points of his own.

Unfortunately, the final round on Saturday didn’t go as well as Friday’s semis.

Spring Valley got down early, but approaching mid period, they were making a move. Cameron was up by a half dozen when a flurry of three-pointers by both teams lit up the scoreboard. Trevor Forster and Bauer hit back-to-back deep shots for the Cardinals as they pulled within three.

With 5:00 left in the period, the Comets looked to be pulling away when a steal by Stasiek and two consecutive shots from downtown cut the deficit to one point. Strong defense by Stasiek with two blocks nearly in a row combined with a penalty shot made it 29-all going into the final minutes of the half. Stasiek and Bauer continued their strong first periods with a fast break and a steal to close out the opening frame with a one-point point lead at 33-32.

Unfortunately, the wheel came off in the second half as Cameron came out and went on an 18-3 run that took almost half the period. Spring Valley kept battling, but they weren’t able to climb out of the hole they found themselves in after the Comets’ initial run and lost 75-54.

Bauer led the team in scoring once again with 16, but it was Cameron’s ability to limit Stasiek to just 11 points that was a big part of the loss.

Head Coach Rob Bosshart says Cameron was every bit as good as they thought they were going to be.

“After falling behind early, we were able to find a rhythm offensively and gained confidence as we took the lead late in the half. We felt good going into the second half, but we had a stretch where we missed a couple of scoring opportunities and turned the ball over. That created a deficit that we just couldn't overcome,” Bosshart said. “The kids played their tails off the entire game, just as they had the rest of the season, but we weren't able to mount another late rally.”

Coach Bosshart says one of their main objectives was ball security because Cameron does such a great job of converting those into easy baskets.

“In the first half we took great care of the ball and were able to create good scoring opportunities. The second half was a different story as we were uncharacteristically loose with the ball,” Bosshart said. 

This loss officially ends the year for the Cardinals who are losing some key players in the offseason in Bauer, Elijah Poulin, Kaden Robelia, and Diego Schmitt.

“We are definitely going to miss our four seniors as each of them were important contributors to our success this year. Each of them brought a little something different to the table and it will be a challenge to replace them,” Bosshart said. “The biggest thing that they brought to the team, however, was their work ethic and their dedication to making our team better. This team was such a pleasure to coach, and the seniors led the way in creating such a winning culture.”

Bosshart says the guys will play in leagues and tournaments this summer and says that is a good way for them to begin developing chemistry and establishing their roles. However, the real work, he says, will need to be done individually, so he never knows before the season who will be the next players to step up and fill those roles.

“There are no shortcuts to becoming a better basketball player, and it takes a lot of hard work when no one is watching. We are very excited about our returning players and feel like they are capable of raising their games to another level,” Bosshart said. “You really don't know who is going to have a great off season of preparation. At the beginning of each season, it is exciting to see who has put the time and effort in during the summer in order to improve the most.”

After multiple decades of experience as the coach of the Cardinals, Bosshart says this was one of the most enjoyable seasons that he’s had in his time with the team.

“The effort and coachability of this group allowed us to exceed the expectations of many people with the number of wins that we were able to get, and that is a tribute to those kids who just kept working every day in order to improve,” Bosshart said. “This team certainly showed our younger guys what it takes to be successful and how they should approach practice every day.” 


The Ellsworth Panthers were defeated in Round 1 of the regional playoffs on Tuesday by the Baldwin-Woodville Blackhawks 63-40. It wasn’t the way Ellsworth had hoped it would go, but the game was actually pretty close throughout the first half.

The Panthers got down early, but three-pointers by Parker Woodland, Jack Stoltenberg and back-to-back deep shots by George Rohl kept Ellsworth in striking distance. At midperiod, it was 18-all. That’s when things started to go the other way though, as the Blackhawks went on a 15-6 run to close out the half with a 33-24 lead.

Woodland got things going for the Panthers in the second period with a dunk, and Rohl trimmed the deficit to six with a shot from beyond the arc. It wouldn’t last, however, as BW steadily increased their lead throughout the remainder of the night, ultimately taking the win over Ellsworth at 63-40.

Sometimes the ball just doesn’t go through the net, and Tuesday was one of those nights for Ellsworth as efficiency was their Achilles Heel. Rohl led them in scoring with 18 points, but no other Panther had double digits. Rebounds were also hard to come by as they only came away with 14 as a team.

Head Coach Derek Staley says their year was a lot better than their record indicated, and they’re going to be losing some key pieces from this season’s squad before next year.

“We played a pretty tough schedule, the conference was really good and experienced. We lost nine games that were within a possession or two near the end,” Staley said. “Our young guys have a great chance to learn from those situations and this season as a whole. We are losing some important pieces in Parker Woodland, Logan Brand, and Kale Sammon. They made a huge difference for us on and off the court. “

Coach Staley says they have a really good chance to make a jump from a wins and loss perspective next year.

“We have some young guards who need to grow. This season provided that opportunity for growth, and we saw that from those guys,” Staley said. “It's really hard to win in this league with young guards, and I think they are going to step up next year. I also think we are going to see some JV guys take a step forward next year. We might see one or two of those guys have nice seasons for us.”

Going forward, the Panthers will play in a summer league in Altoona again this year, and they will also play in a few tournaments in the area. Staley also said a lot of guys are playing AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) ball in a variety of places. 

“I really want to thank our seniors and parents this year,” Staley said. “It could have been a tough season because we did not win a lot of games, but those guys and parents made it a fun season. Our coaching staff enjoyed coming to practice every day and those seniors were a big part of why.” 

Coach Staley reflects on another season in the books and what that means to him.

“It's tough to wrap up any season because as a competitor, you never want it to be over,” Staley said. “We always want to win that last game, but only five teams get to do that. Coaching has to be more than about wins and losses. I know we are going to have more wins in the future, and this group and season will be a big reason why. This season really built the foundation for what we are going to be in the future.” 

EPC Wolves, Spring Valley Cardinals, Ellsworth Panthers, boys basketball, playoffs