The Norsemen traveled to Royall on Jan. 2 and returned to Coulee Conference action hosting Viroqua on Friday, Jan. 5. Westby boys have been struggling all season and continued to battle dropping both games last week.
Westby’s Head Coach Bob Constalie said the team has plenty of talent, but has not found the key offensively inside to putting up points in the lane consistently and at the same time struggles defensively to stop teams with an inside game.
Adding to the team struggles was the loss of senior, Grant Dayton, and junior, Ryan Daines, who provide a strong presence inside and were both out of the game out with ankle injuries. It is unknown when they will be able to return to action.
Royall 49, Westby 41
The Norsemen played with great intensity and heart against Royall and according to Constalie the Norsemen defense performed its best game of the season, but as strong as the defense was the offense came up short on the scoreboard.
“In order to start winning games we need to shoot the ball better and turn it over less. We are committing way to many unforced errors with bad footwork and careless passes,” Constalie said.
At the break, Westby was down by five points, 26-21 and just couldn’t muster enough offensively to pull out the win, falling 49-41. Alex Gluch led Westby with 17 points and Sam Strangstalien also hit double digits with 10. Also for Westby, Davontae Spears, Gant Dayton and Joe Armbruster each put up four points, and sophomore Devin Nelson added two.
Against Royall the Norsemen shot a mere 34 percent overall, hitting just 16 of the 46 attempts, while Royall shot 46 percent making 20 of its 43 overall attempts.
The Norsemen hit 80 percent of its free throws (4 for 5) and 38 percent from long range (5 for 12). Strangstalien went 3-for 6 from outside and Gluch was 2 for 6.
Royall spread the points around enough to secure the win, with Tristan Welchlin leading the way with 11 points.
ROYALL 49, WESTBY 41
Westby 21 20 - 41
Royall 26 23 - 49
WESTBY (2-8): Sam Strangstalien 10, Alex Gluch 17, Davontae Spears 4, Gant Dayton 4, Joe Armbruster 4, Devin Nelson 2.
ROYALL (6-1): Jaydyn Enzenbacher 8, Keith Travis 5, Josh Kolodzinski 2, Dane Hyer 9, Nick Murray 4, Tristan Welchlin 11, Dan Retzlaff 1, Seth Brown 9.
Viroqua 54, Westby 53
Westby held an 18 point lead in the first half and let it wither away falling in the final seconds of Coulee Conference action against Viroqua, 54-53. The win was Viroqua’s first of the season and broke a 13 game losing streak to the Norsemen dating back to Feb. 11, 2011.
Andrew Wedwick of Viroqua got hot from long range and hit back-to-back shots to put Viroqua on top with 1.8 seconds left in regulation play.
Westby got the ball back and Gluch drilled the ball to Strangstalien who fired a shot, but failed to make the basket ,giving the ball back to Viroqua with.8 seconds left on the clock.
Westby came out strong early in the game holding a 23-5 lead halfway through the first half, aided by a trio of long range shots by Griffin Grass and pair by Gluch.
Viroqua slowly whittled away at the score closing the gap to 30-17 at the break, in large part due to a stellar performance by Sam Jett with 15 of the team’s 18 half time points.
Viroqua changed its offensive strategy in the second half with a strong focus on driving inside the lane. Steve Diehl put up four straight baskets inside to close the gap and with Wedwick on fire from outside and Viroqua’s inside game gaining ground, the Blackhawks carried that momentum straight to victory.
Wedwick led the Blackhawks with 16 points, Jett 15 and Jared Anderson added 10.
Westby had plenty of opportunity to stay one step ahead of Viroqua late in the game, but a less than satisfactory performance from the charity stripe cost the team multiple points late in the game.
For Westby (2-9, 1-3): Gluch 14, Strangstalien 13, Grass 9, Joe Armbruster 7, Hunter Ward 4, Davonte Spears 4, and Devin Nelson 2.
The Norsemen traveled to Prairie du Chien on Tuesday, Jan. 9 and return to Coulee Conference action hosting Coulee Conference leading West Salem on Friday, Jan. 12.
VIROQUA 54, WESTBY 53
Viroqua 17 37—54
Westby 30 23—53
VIROQUA (1-9. 1-3): Sam Jett 15, Jared Anderson 10, Andrew Wedwick 16, Steve Diehl 8, Anthony Rappl 5.
WESTBY (2-9, 1-3):Sam Strangstalien 13, Hunter Ward 4, Griffin Grass 9, Alex Gluch 14, Davonte Spears 4, Joe Armbruster 7, Devin Nelson 2.