On Thursday, Dec. 9, the Spring Valley and Elmwood/ Plum City boys basketball teams faced off in a Dunn-St. Croix Conference matchup at Plum City High School. Spring Valley’s ability to break the press and score in transition led to a 4533 victory on the road against a conference rival.
Eight minutes into the first half, the Spring Valley Cardinals had a 10-9 lead against the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves. That’s when Spring Valley began a scoring run that included a corner threepointer by senior guard Tyler Bowman, a Bowman offensive rebound and layup, a three-pointer by senior guard Coy Stasiek and a layup by freshman guard Cade Stasiek to take a 20-12 lead which forced a full timeout by Wolves head coach Kyle Webb.
The Spring Valley Cardinals used the scoring run late in the second half to propel the team to a 24-16 lead at halftime on the road in a conference game. The key to the first half for Spring Valley was getting easy buckets in transition because of the press that head coach Rob Bosshart had implemented early in the first half. Coach Bosshart spoke about the effectiveness of the press.
“We have been pressing often this year,” Bosshart said. “I think we have to do something to combat our lack of size. If we can disrupt a little bit in the backcourt or on the perimeter before teams get a chance to get settled in, especially with a really good player like Luke Webb who, if he gets the ball down low, we’re kind of at their mercy. We have to get out and pressure a bit. Colin Anderson came off the bench and was really a spark defensively for us. He did a great job pressuring the ball which allowed us to get those turnovers. That happened when he came in the game.”
Defensively speaking, Spring Valley was dominant against Elmwood/Plum City on Thursday night. The cheap, quick turnovers that the Cardinals were able to force led to a large lead that the Wolves simply couldn’t overcome. Spring Valley carried the momentum to a 4533 victory on the road. Bosshart spoke about how it was an important win for his team.
“It’s a good win, it’s always hard to play in this gym and they have a really good team and will win a lot of games this year,” Bosshart said. “It’s a really good win for us. I’m going to look back later and say this – especially coming off the loss at Durand, it’s a good bounce-back game for us. I thought at times we made it a little more difficult than it needed to be with some decision-making, but that’s part of learning and growing as a team.”
In addition to being solid defensively, especially in the press, Spring Valley was efficient offensively by breaking the press that Elmwood/Plum City had thrown on. The Cardinals moved the ball effectively and often got two-on-one transition layups because of great passing near midcourt.
“We should (break the press), we’re really guard-oriented,” Bosshart said after the win. “We have some experienced guards, so really, the press shouldn’t be an obstacle for us.”
While Bosshart was happy with his team’s overall performance, Wolves head coach Kyle Webb saw a game that had quite a few “almost” plays. Three-pointers that almost went in, loose balls that the Wolves almost got to, all of which contributed to the home loss against Spring Valley. He spoke about the team’s performance.
“I think we have some shots rattle in, the game would be a lot different,” Webb said after the 12-point loss. “We had three or four three-pointers that frontrimmed that we usually hit. If we hit those, it’s a way different ball game. But you’ve got to give it to him. Rob always has a good squad over there. He’s a good coach and those are athletic kids. We were just short in a few categories, but we’ll bounce back.”
The press was a significant topic of discussion for both coaches. Spring Valley’s Bosshart was happy with how his team pressed and was able to break the press. As for the Wolves, Webb’s squad struggled to deal with Spring Valley’s pressure.
“(Turning the ball over) is something we don’t normally do,” Webb said. “It was a strange night, but I’m not going to take that away from them. We played a hard game; they played a hard game, and they came out on top. We will be ready next time.”
With the win, Spring Valley improved to 3-1 for the season, including a 1-1 record in Dunn-St Croix Conference action. A non-conference win on Saturday afternoon against Stanley-Boyd improved the Cardinals’ record to 4-1. As for Elmwood/Plum City, the loss dropped their record to 2-1 for the season, including a 1-1 record in conference play. Another loss on Saturday against Clear Lake dropped the record to 2-2 for the season.
The next game for Elmwood/ Plum City is on Tuesday, Dec. 14, at home against McDonnell Central. That game is slated to begin at 7:15 p.m. As for Spring Valley, the Cardinals’ next game is on Thursday, Dec. 16, at home against Boyceville. That game will begin also begin at 7:15 p.m.
Senior Spring Valley guard Charlie Maier uses a dribble move to break down an Elmwood/Plum City defender as he scans the floor for an open teammate. Photo by Reagan Hoverman
Senior Elmwood/Plum City guard Dayne Whipple shoots a three-pointer during the Wolves’ home game against Spring Valley on Thursday, Dec. 9. Photo by Reagan Hoverman