The Norsemen fell to Prairie du Chien on Tuesday, Jan. 9 and to West Salem on Friday, Jan. 12.
Westby’s Head Coach Bob Constalie said the team has plenty of talented players, but needs to push its “A” game through to the end.
Prairie 48, Westby 36
Westby fell behind 18-3 in action at Priarie du Chien on Tuesday, Jan. 9 and were never able to dig themselves out. The Norsemen managed to cut the lead to four points in the second half, but that is as close as they would get falling 48-36.
“We played very well on the defensive end of the floor, and I thought we rebounded about as well as we have all year. We simply had too many turnovers again, which resulted in uncontested lay ups for Prairie,” Constalie said.
Westby failed to get anyone into double digits. Davontae Spears led the team with nine points, followed by Strangstalien’s eight. Also for Westby, Grass 6, Hunter Ward 5, Devin Nelson and Joe Armbruster 4 each.
Against Prairie the Norsemen shot 51 percent overall, making 15 of 29 attempts, while Prairie shot 55 percent overall making 21 of 38 attempts. The Norsemen downed 30 percent from long range (4 for 13) with Sam Strangstalien and Griffin Grass each hitting a pair.
Mason Kramer led Prairie with 17 points and Hunter Davis added 14.
West Salem 51, Westby 42
Westby lived and died from long range against West Salem thanks to a couple of hot hands for the Norsemen who kept the game close and even tied 26-26 at the break.
Westby’s Griffin Grass had the hottest hand in the game from outside and kept the Norsemen alive in the first half . His outside accuracy resulted in six straight baskets for Westby from long range netting him 18 points in the first half. Grass hit a total of seven 3-point shots from well beyond the arc in the game to lead Westby with 21 points.
Teammate Sam Strangstalien got hot after the break firing three consecutive shots from outside. Strangstalien was silenced in the first half, but found the light of day putting up all nine of his points early in the second half.
Four minutes into the second half Westby took a 35-29 lead, but a wise move by West Salem coaches to put pressure on Westby’s outside game paid off as the Panthers took control the rest of the way.
As Westby tried to regroup from the Panther’s strategic change in defensive coverage the Norsemen turned the ball over multiple times and the Panthers took advantage of the costly mistakes to take back the lead. West Salem outscored the Norsemen 18-2 in the final 14 minutes of action to capture the 51-42 win.
Junior Ryan Daines returned to action against West Salem upping Westby’s inside game, but Daines appeared rusty after missing a couple of outings with a foot injury and muffed a few easy shots in the lane.
Once again Westby had an opportunity to close the gap late in the game, but a less than satisfactory performance from the charity stripe cost the team points.
For Westby (2-11, 1-4): Griffin Grass 21, Sam Strangstalien 9, Ryan Daines 8, Devin Nelson 4.
West Salem (5-7, 3-3) was led by Hunter Wakefield with 21 points.
The Norsemen host Black River Falls on Friday, Jan. 19 before a short break in the schedule.
Westby will face Luther at the La Crosse Center Coulee Classic on Saturday, Jan. 27. Tickets are now available at the high school for the event. Call 608-634-3101 for more ticket information.