DURAND, WI – Sometimes when you travel the same road time after time, you tend to see the same things. That appears to have happened to the Cardinals last week as they traveled Highway 10 to both Mondovi and Durand last week, and both times came home with tight 2-point wins. Both games came right down the final seconds for the Cardinals.

The pair of wins improves the Cardinals to 5-2 overall and 3-0 and in first place in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. Valley next plays on December 27 and 28 at Cuba City in the holiday tournament there against Cuba City (27) and Richland Center (28).

SV 64, Mondovi 62
Valley got a strong performance from their two biggest players on the floor, senior Dylan Bosshart and junior Aaron Borgerding. Those two players have been the consistency the team has needed all season long, but their success as a team depends on the ability of other players to step up in games. The Cardinals got that last Tuesday in Mondovi from senior Lance McMurrin. McMurrin has the duty of often defending players larger than he is in the post, of being a banger, getting after rebounds and setting screens. He is not often leaned on to score as much.

McMurrin did just that though last Tuesday, netting a season-high 12 points in the win. He wasn’t the leading scorer for Valley, as Bosshart had 25 points and Borgerding had 18, but his contributions were vital for the team to get the win. Valley made 46% of their shots from the floor in the game (26-of-56).

The two teams traded baskets throughout the game with Mondovi forging a 33-32 halftime lead and Valley pulling out the win. The Buffaloes had the ball in the waning seconds, but the Cardinal defense was able to keep Mondovi from getting off a clean shot before time expired to hold on for the win.

Avery Hoepner led Mondovi with 25 points and Brennan Christopherson had 21, but no other Buffaloes reached double digits in scoring. Mondovi shot 45% from the floor (26-of-58).

The big difference in the game was at the free throw line, Valley made 7-of-12 free throws while Mondovi was just 3-for-8 at the line.

SV 46, Durand 44
This one was a little different from the Mondovi game. Valley built a good halftime lead, 34-24, then had to withstand a scrap in the second half and get another defensive stop as time expired for the win.

“I think that has been the key for us so far in the conference games,” said Head Coach Rob Bosshart. “Our players are really stepping up defensively, understanding the concepts we are trying to do on the defensive end of the floor. They have bought in to it and that’s why we are getting the success we have.”

Bosshart and Borgerding led the Cardinal offense with 18 and 16 points respectively. Valley made 54% of their shots from the floor (20-of-37), had just eight personal fouls in the game, and committed 15 turnovers.

Durand had no players reach double digits in scoring, shot 43% from the floor (20-of-47), committed 13 personal fouls and had 13 turnovers.

The difference again was at the free throw line. Valley sent the Panthers to the stripe rarely, they made just 1-of-3 shots. The Cardinals were 4-of-6 from the line.

After the Cuba City tournament, the Cardinals return to conference play on Friday, January 4, when they will play hosts to Elk Mound.