SPRING VALLEY, WI – The season may have just begun, but the growing pains are coming through for a team that has few players with experience on the varsity floor.

It was evident in all three games last week, a win and two losses, that there is a lot of inexperience on the floor. The Cardinals got a good team effort in the season opening win over Eau Claire Immanuel, struggled later in the game against a very good Clear Lake team, and was outmuscled and outplayed against a tough Fall Creek team, the latter two losses.

There is a silver lining though, the experience on the floor is starting to grow.

SV 52, Eau Claire Immanuel 42
The Cardinals had to fight for each point in this game, scraping their way to a slight 23-21 halftime lead. There was a fair amount of mistakes on both sides, but the Lancers had already played a game or two, so those first-game jitters were already gone for them. Spring Valley had many players on the varsity floor for the first time, so getting that nervousness out took some time.

Solid second half play by the veteran players paved the way to the win for the Cardinals though.

Junior Aaron Borgerding led the Cardinals with 16 points, six rebounds, five steals and three assists as the main ball-handler for the team. Senior Dylan Bosshart led the team, and all players, in scoring with 19 points.

The Cardinals had 13 steals against just 11 turnovers in the game, while the Lancers had 17 turnovers against 8 steals in the game. Valley shot 42% from the field (21 of 50) and 80% from the free throw line (8 of 10).

Eau Claire was led by brothers Noah and Ethan Sydow with 16 and 13 points respectively in the game.

Clear Lake 57, SV 36
This was a game with two very different halves. The Cardinals knew coming in that the sixth-ranked Warriors had a very good team again this year. For three-quarters of the game it was tight. Valley was down by just two points at the half, 18-16 and hung with the Warriors for half of the second half.

“They didn’t play very well, and we did,” said Head Coach Rob Bosshart for that much of the game. “Then they just turned things around a bit and took over.”

Fouls were plentiful for both teams throughout the game with the Cardinals getting whistled for 23 fouls while the Warriors had 21.

Clear Lake buckled down in the second half, pulling away from the Cardinals for the easy win.

The Warriors were led by senior Bailey Blanchard with 20 points with support from Bryce Hacker (11 points) and Marshall Cain (10 points). They also shot 40% from the field (14-of-35) and 14-of-29 from the free throw line (48%).

Borgerding led the Cardinals with 12 points followed by senior Lance McMurrin with 11 and Bosshart with 10 in the losing effort. All four players finished the game with four fouls.

Valley also shot 50% from the free throw line (10-of-20) and 33% from the floor (12-of-36).

Fall Creek 57, SV 35
The Cardinals struggled with containing the size of the Fall Creek interior in this Northwest Tip-Off game at UW-Stout last weekend. The Crickets’ David Anderson seemed to score at will inside for Fall Creek and led all scorers with 22 points in limited time on the floor. The senior was 10-of-13 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the free throw line in a dominant role in the game.

The Cardinals fell behind early, down 27-17 at halftime, and struggled from the floor in the game, making just 11 of 42 shots for a 26% shooting night.

Bosshart led the Cardinals with 11 points and sophomore Mike Bauer put in another 10 to help the cause. The Cardinals struggled with taking care of the ball though, committing 19 turnovers in the game.

The Cardinals hosted Alma/Pepin this past Monday night and will host Colfax tonight before hitting the road for games at Mondovi on Tuesday and Durand on Friday, December 14. After that, the Cardinals don’t hit the floor again until participating in the Cuba City Holiday Tournament on December 27 and 28.