Basketball roundup: Girls basketball begins throughout Pierce County

Local high school girls basketball teams got their seasons underway throughout Pierce County this week, including River Falls High School, Spring Valley and Elmwood/Plum City.

The River Falls Wildcats played the season opener on the road on Thursday, Nov. 18, against the Somerset Spartans. That game tipped off at 7 p.m. The story of the game for the Wildcats was inefficient shooting from the floor which contributed to the 6848 loss against Somerset.

The Wildcats shot 15-54 on field goals from the floor, only approximately 27% on regular field goals. The percentage was slightly better from three-point land, as the Wildcats posted 32% from behind the arc on 9-28 shooting. Free throws were also a problem for River Falls. As a team, they shot 9-22 from the free throw line, approximately 40% from the charity stripe.

In total, the poor shooting performance for the Wildcats was the driving factor in the Spartans jumping out to an early lead and carrying it throughout the remainder of regulation. For River Falls, the play of Keyah Strop was a highlight. Her offensive output of 14 points, which included five free throws and a threepointer, gave River Falls a primary scoring option throughout the game.

In addition to Strop’s offensive output, she distributed the ball efficiently too. Strop notched three assists, grabbed three rebounds and even had a block. In a game where not many shots were falling for River Falls, Strop’s play was a positive takeaway in the opening game of the season. Another good performance was that of Ella Peters, who had nine points, grabbed 10 rebounds and also had three assists in the Thursday night loss on the road.

The 20-point loss for River Falls drops the Wildcats to 0-1 to start the season. The next game for River Falls is on Friday, Nov. 26, at Red Wing High School for the Red Wing Tip Off Tournament. That game is slated to begin at 3 p.m.

Elmwood/Plum City defeats Eleva-Strum 53-41 in season opener It was all smiles for the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves on Friday, Nov. 19, when they began the season 1-0 with a 12-point victory against Eleva-Strum in the first game of the 2021 season.

The key to the game for the Wolves was consistency. Throughout the contest, the Wolves consistently outscored Eleva-Strum and didn’t give up any major scoring runs that could have put the double-digit lead in jeopardy.

In the first half, Elmwood/Plum City outscored Eleva-Strum 24-18, a majority of the scoring came from Maggie Glaus, who did most of her damage from the free throw line. Throughout the game, Glaus made six regular field goals, sank 11 free throws and also grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds to record a doubledouble in the first game of the season.

The second half was more of the same for the Wolves. They outscored Eleva-Strum 29-23 in the second half on the way to a 53-41 victory to improve to 1-0 for the season. Glaus was the star of the game. Her final box score included the aforementioned 18 rebounds as well as 23 points and one assist. She was the dominant player on the court on Friday night in Elmwood.

The next game for the Wolves is on Thursday, Dec. 2, at home against Elk Mound. That game is slated to begin at 7:15 p.m.

Spring Valley struggles in home opener

On Thursday, Nov. 18, the Spring Valley Cardinals girls basketball team began its season with a tough 71-30 loss against the visiting Clear Lake Warriors in a non-conference matchup.

Clear Lake was the dominant team from the first tip to the final whistle. In the first half, the Warriors jumped out to a significant 44-19 lead going into the intermission. The outstanding play of forward Kate Rosen contributed to the lead. In the game, Rosen had 19 points on 7-14 shooting from the floor, including one three-pointer and four free throws. She also grabbed eight rebounds, dished one assist, and also recorded a steal and a block.

A majority of the Spring Valley offensive output was from guard Mara Ducklow, who finished the game with 14 points for the game, accounting for nearly half of the team’s offensive output. The key to the game for the Clear Lake Warriors was offensive efficiency and forcing Spring Valley turnovers.

Clear Lake shot an impressive 50% from the floor throughout the game, in addition to 8-19 shooting from the three-point line and 11-16 from the free throw line. The Warriors tallied 22 steals in the contest, which gave an already dominant offense nearly two dozen additional chances to score that led to the 71-30 loss for the Cardinals.

The lopsided loss for Spring Valley is only the first game of the season. The team has time to grow and improve under the direction of head coach Sean Hoolihan. The next game on the schedule for Spring Valley is on Tuesday, Nov. 23, when the Cardinals host Alma/Pepin for more non-conference action. That game is scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m.

November 23, 2021