GAME OF THE WEEK (Jan. 19–25)
BOYS BASKETBALL: Darlington (12–0, #2 in Division 4) at Barneveld (10–0, #1 in D5), Monday, Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m.
This week’s McDonald’s SWnews4U.com Game of the week is a non-conference battle between undefeated highly ranked teams. Coach Tom Uppena’s 12–0 Redbirds are ranked second in Division 4 in the latest wissports.net poll. Coach Jim Myers Golden Eagles improved to 10–0 with a dominating 55–36 Six Rivers East Conference victory over second-place Pecatonica last Thursday night. Neither team has been really been challenged this year, so Monday’s non-conference battle is one to keep an eye on.
Darlington hammered previously once-beaten Black Hawk 70–38 last Saturday to stop the Warriors nine-game winning streak. The Redbirds are averaging 74.3 points per game while giving up just 41.3 points per game. Their closest game of the season is a 71–55 non-conference win at New Glarus on Jan. 3. A trio of seniors lead Darlington in scoring, led by Edgewood College commit Will Schwartz at 16.9 points per game. Schwartz scored a game-high 21 points in Saturday’s win over Black Hawk. Trevor Johnson (12.5) and Ryan Glendenning (12.3) also average more than 12 points per game. University of Wisconsin football commit Hunter Johnson averaged 9 points and five rebounds.
“It feels great to be unbeaten so far,” said Uppena. “We have played some really good teams up to this point, so to be able to stay unblemished means we are playing some good basketball. We still have some things to improve on as a team and I have some things to improve on as a coach. We have some great teams coming up on our schedule, so hopefully we will be ready for those challenges.”
Barneveld is led by the coach’s son, senior point guard Mathew Myers, who averaged 14.1 points, 4.8 assists and 2.2 steals per game. Senior wing Mike Zouski averages 13.6 points and 5 rebounds per game, while 6-foot-5 senior forward Lucas Evans (7 ppg, 6 rpg) leads the team in rebounding. Barneveld’s closest game of the year is a 68–59 non-conference win over Evansville on Dec. 30. The Golden Eagles average 68.2 points per game.
BOYS BASKETBALL: Other area games of note
Platteville (8–3) at Shullsburg (11–0, ranked #2 in D5), Tuesday, Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.
The SWC-leading Hillmen will travel to Lancaster (5–7, 1–4 SWC), but their most interesting game of the week is next Tuesday’s non-conference game at Shullsburg. Coach Mike Huser’s team battled back to defeat visiting Dodgeville last Friday night to run its conference record to 4–0. Seniors Braden Nies (15 ppg, 4.2 apg) and Dillon Shinee (8.6 ppg, 7 rpg), and junior Donovan Blevins (14.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg) form a talented big three for Platteville. Shullsburg improved to 11–0 on the season with a 51–43 non-conference win over Montezuma, Iowa at Saturday’s Wendy’s/American Trust Classic at Loras College. Defending Six Rivers West champion Shullsburg has its own big three in seniors Hunter Matye (6’4”, reigning SRW Player of the Year), Joey Meyer (6’9”, Division 2 Minnesota–Crookston recruit) and Noah Wand (6’4, Edgewood College recruit. Throw in senior transfer Jeremiah Bailey (6’4”) and the Miners have a special season in the making.
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Area games of note
Black Hawk (10–0, #5 in Div. 5) at Platteville (9–3), Saturday, Jan. 20, 2:30 p.m.
The undefeated Warriors, ranked fifth in Division 5, put their perfect record on the line in a non-conference game at Platteville Saturday afternoon. Both teams are stacked with talented freshman. Freshman guard Natalie Leuzinger scored a game-high 27 points and fellow frosh Hannah Butler added 14 as Black Hawk beat Edgerton 56–49 last Saturday. Platteville freshman center Sami Martin had a game-high 21 points and five rebounds in a 69–46 win over Dodgeville last Friday. A week earlier, Martin posted 27 points and 10 boards as the Hillmen handed Richland Center (10–1) its first loss of the season, 87–81. Junior Skye Digman had 24 points and seven rebounds against Center and 19 points and 10 rebounds against Dodgeville.
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Darlington (8–5, 4–2 SWAL) at Cuba City (8–3, 5–1 SWAL), Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
The third-place Redbirds travel to second-place Cuba City for a key SWAL matchup. The Cubans need a win to keep pace with SWAL-leading Mineral Point (8–3, 5–0), while Darlington needs a win to stay I the conference title hunt. The Cubans also have a key conference showdown with Riverdale (10–2, 4–2 SWAL) looming on Tuesday.
PREP WRESTLING: This week’s events
Richland Center (1–3, 1–1 SWC) at Prairie du Chien (8–1, 2–1 SWC), Thursday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m.
Dodgeville (1–2, 1–1 SWC) at River Valley (6–1, 1–1 SWC), Thursday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m.
Belmont/Platteville (2–2, 0–2 SWC) at Lancaster (9–0, 2–0 SWC), Friday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m.
Mineral Point (10–7, 3–1 SWAL) at Boscobel (2–5, 0–3 SWAL), Friday, Jan. 20 , 7 p.m.
Iowa–Grant/Highland (5–2, 1–1 SWAL) at Darlington/Black Hawk (6–2, 1–1 SWAL), Friday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m.
Cuba City/Southwestern/Benton (1–5, 1–4 SWAL) at Riverdale (10–5, 3–2 SWAL), Friday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m.
PREP GYMNASTICS: Southwestern/Cuba City Invitational, Saturday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m.
The Wildcats will host a 11-team invitational on Saturday at Southwestern High School. Participating teams include: Dodgeville, Gale–Ettrick–Trempealeau, Holmen, Middleton, Mount Horeb, Mukwonago, Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster, Prairie du Chien, Reedsburg, Whitewater and the host Wildcats.