Menomonie’s goal this season was to pay back for all the lumps it had taken in recent years.

The Mustangs achieved that goal Friday night, making it their turn to dish it out. And they did it in convincing fashion.

Coming from behind with a 16-point unanswered run late in the first half, they took command and never let up in a 70-51 stunner of Eau Claire North at the Doghouse.

“We needed a signature win,” Menomonie coach Matt Riley said. “This was one we can build a ton of confidence on.”

The Mustangs (5-5, 2-3) looked like world beaters and in the wild and balanced Big Rivers Conference championship race, best not count them out.

“I want to give them all the credit,” North coach Todd Marks said. “They made it difficult for us offensively, cleaned up the rebounds and played a complete game on both ends of the court. I have nothing but the highest praise for them.”

Davis Barthen was one of the Huskies' main problems. The 5-10 junior sharpshooter hit three back-to-back 3-pointers in the Mustangs game-breaking run that turned a four-point lead into a 17-pointer.

North never recovered.

“Our offense did a great job of execution,” Riley said. “We got to the basket and that left Barthen open. That sparked us. He can score in bunches.”

Barthen finished with 18 points and got support from Jace Kressin, who scored 15 on the inside and 6-5 sophomore Brock Thornton, who came off the bench to score 13 points. Jake Ebert scored nine of his 11 points in the second half. Seven of the baskets came on passes from Sam Sleichert. It was an excellent team effort.

Trailing 34-21 at the intermission, the Huskies fought desperately in the second half but every time they seemed on the verge of cutting it back, the Mustangs had an answer.

They did a particularly good job on Husky ace Dalton Banks, who had to work hard to score 22, well under his average. The Mustangs did a good job of cutting off his lanes and contesting his outside shots.

“We talked about when we play good defense, it sparks our offense,” Riley said. “That seemed to be the case.”

Ashton Kallstrom came off the bench to put some spark in the Huskies, scoring 14 points, 11 in the second half. But there was little other support.

Marks said Menomonie’s performance came as no surprise.

“I’ve seen all their guys, we’ve played them for three or four years,” Mark said. “They’ve been getting better and better and finding themselves.”

The loss dropped the Huskies (6-3, 2-2) out of a share of the conference lead.


Menomonie — FGM-FGA FTM-FTA TP: Jace Kressin 6-12 2-2 14, Sam Sleichert 2-5 1-2 5, Dylan Boecker 2-5 0-0 4, Jake Ebert 5-9 1-1 11, Davis Barthen 6-10 2-2 19, Evan Wurtzel 3-6 0-0 6, Brock Thornton 6-6 1-2 13, Sam Zbornik 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 30-54 7-9 70.

North – Bennett Mayer 2-4 3-6 7, Dalton Banks 8-19 6-7 22, Preston Dorn 0-0 0-0 0, Chad Kron 1-5 0-0 3, Carter Hesselman 0-1 0-0 0, Ashton Kallstrom 5-9 3-6 14, Luke Warren 0-2 0-0 0, Elijah Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Jarrett Loe 0-1 1-2 1, Aaron Martin 1-2 0-1 2, Jacob Fisher 0-0 0-0 0, Kyle Greenlund 0-0 0-0 0, Luke Bergh 0-1 0-0 0, Henry Wilkinson 1-1 0-0 2, Alex Schmidt 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-46 13-22 51,

Halftime: Menomonie 34-21. 3-point goals: Menomonie 6-10 (Barthen 5-6, Kressin 1-2, Wurtzel 0-2), North 2-18 (Kron 1-4, Kallstrom 1-3, Banks 0-6, Hesselman 0-1, Warren 0-1, Loe 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Martin 0-1, Bergh 0-1). Rebounds: Menomonie 39 (Kressin 7, Thornton 6, Barten 6), North 24 (Mayer 7, Banks 6). Assists: Menomonie 18 (Sleichert 7), North 9 (Mayer 3). Total fouls: Menomonie 18, North 12. Turnovers: Menomonie 14, North 10. Officials: Tim Bassett, Mike Breed, Steve Schultz. Records: Menomonie 5-5, 2-3. North 6-3, 2-2.