ELMWOOD, WI – Sometimes having a lay-off for an extended number of days in the regular season can take a team out of their rhythm, causing them to misfire their shots, not play together, miss their defensive assignments.

It was kind of the opposite effect for the Spring Valley boys’ basketball team last week. The Cardinals played at Elmwood, almost a week after hosting Elk Mound, and the result showed that this team is playing at a high level of play, even when there is a misfire or missed assignment. Someone else is picking up the slack for their teammate.

“I think we’ve got a really good team going right now,” said Head Coach Rob Bosshart. “They are just playing well together, up and down the bench.”

The Cardinals needed that teamwork early on against the Wolves. That’s the problem with being in first place in the conference, everyone is going to come out to get you right from the very beginning.

The two teams battled through the first seven minutes with Valley calling a time-out with an 11-10 lead. But from that point on, the Cardinals dominated, using a stifling hustle defense that contested every shot and got after every loose ball for the rest of the game with reckless abandon. By the halftime break, Valley had forged a 29-15 lead and never looked back.

The second half was more of the same as the Cardinals held E/PC to just eight points in the second half for a 59-23 win to improve their conference record to 5-0 and overall mark to 7-4.

The Wolves committed 21 turnovers in the game to just 12 for Valley, and didn’t shoot too well from the field either, making just 26% of their shots (9-of-35).

Valley held the rebounding advantage too, by pulling down 33 to E/PC’s 23 boards. The Cardinals also made 48% of their shots from the floor, 23-of-47.

The Cardinals were led by junior Aaron Borgerding’s 18 points and senior Dylan Bosshart’s 13, but every player on the bench made solid contributions throughout the game, either by scoring, rebounding, diving on the ball for a loose ball or making a defensive stop.

“It was a complete team effort,” Bosshart said. “This team has really bought into that concept, they spend time with each other on and off the court.”

The Cardinals wrap up the first half of their conference schedule with a trip to Boyceville this past week and by hosting Glenwood City on Friday night. Next week Valley travels to Colfax, who at 9-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference will have revenge on their minds, next Thursday.