MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U.COM GAME OF THE WEEK (Dec. 2–9)
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Black Hawk 67, Platteville 50
SOUTH WAYNE – Seven years ago, Bailey Butler and Kaylee Marty formed a connection on the basketball court. Basically, both players are fast sprinters, and chucking up home run balls led to numerous fast break points.
“In the fifth grade we would always just run the court. I would sprint down and she would chuck it,” Marty said.
Now as seniors, the duo has rekindled some of that magic.
“It’s coming back again, which I like a lot,” Butler said.
Head coach Mike Flanagan said the pair’s connection on the court has a greater affect deeper into the game.
“Kaylee is so fast and she just has an incredible endurance to her, so as the game progresses you start to see her being able to just out-run the other team,” Flanagan said. “They have a connection and they’ve played together for a long time.”
After three years sharing the court with all-state guards Hannah Butler and Natalie Leuzinger, Marty and Bailey Butler have been tasked with leading the team on the court each night. On Dec. 7 against Platteville, a WIAA Division 3 state qualifier in March, Butler and Marty were on the court until the final seconds of their 67-50 win.
“I don’t know if they came off the floor tonight until the very end. She and Bailey played about 34, 35-plus minutes,” Flanagan said.
Most people around Black Hawk knew that it was Bailey Butler who was going to be asked to step her game up to the next level this year. Butler, a UW-Green Bay commit, has exceeded expectations thus far, scoring 30, 31 and 30 points in her opening three games – while leading the Warriors in rebounds, assists and steals as well.
Marty has also picked up her game. In the first two contests of the year, she scored a career high 17 points. In the win over Platteville, she added 10 more – including three fast break buckets in the second half.
“I like defense more, so I don’t really emphasize my offense as much,” Marty said.
Black Hawk (3-0), No. 1 in Division 5 in the first WisSports.net Coaches Poll released Dec. 8, faced its toughest test of the season against the Hillmen (3-1). With just three available players on the bench, the Warriors were fighting not just Platteville, but fatigue.
“I really think we need to get more in shape because you can see we’re dying out there have the time, and the masks don’t help,” Butler said.
The Hillmen jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, but Black Hawk scored the next seven. Platteville then went up 11-10 briefly before Marty scored on a drive to make it 12-11.
“Their pressure on defense – at one point they had two people on Bailey, who is our main ball handler, so that was tough and we had to work around that,” Marty said.
Black Hawk would never surrender the lead after Marty’s drive. By halftime, the Warriors held a 36-24 advantage, and a 17-4 start to the second half buried the Hillmen for good.
“We really are just playing a different game this year just out of necessity,” Flanagan said. One of the calling cards of Flanagan’s teams over the years has been the non-stop, full court pressure defense, which caused about two dozen turnovers per game the last four seasons. This winter, based on depth, endurance and personnel, the Warriors are settling back into a zone half-court defense more often.
“There are going to be times that we cause some turnovers, but maybe in a different way than in the past. We just cannot wait for that ‘out of the gates explosion’ like we’ve been able to rely on these past few years – and that’s a product of depth; it’s a product of different personnel,” Flanagan said. “I really give the kids credit for being able to adapt. This is a team that is used to looking up at the scoreboard and seeing 20-0, 20-5, and that’s just not going to have that picture as much this year.”
Despite getting into foul trouble early in the second half, sophomore forward Tara Wellnitz found a groove in the paint defensively for the Warriors in the second half. She led the team on the night with 10 rebounds.
“She’s a kid who’s seen a lot of varsity action already and a lot of big game varsity action,” Flanagan said.
Butler finished the game with 30 points, 7 steals, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. She was 11 of 15 from the field, including 2 of 4 from downtown.
Wellnitz had five points to go with her 10 boards. Makayla Mau finished with 9 points; Macie Stauffacher scored 6 points on two 3s and added six rebounds, and Raylin Peterson scored seven points with four rebounds before fouling out with 5:16 to play in a 19-point game.
“I was really happy with the growth we’ve seen from some of our posts. We still have some work to do,” Flanagan said. “The biggest concern I had coming in is about how hard Platteville posts up, how much emphasis they have on getting the ball inside and post defense is always kind of a struggle for us. So seeing Makayla and Tara and Raylin being willing to get more physical” was a positive.
Camryn Nies led Platteville with 17 points, and Maddie Cooley added 10 for the Hillmen. Black Hawk was an efficient 23-for-41 from the field, and 5-for-12 from beyond the arc. Platteville was just 14 of 46 from the field, with six of those buckets coming from deep.
Up next for the Warriors is Mineral Point on Dec. 14. The Pointers (1-0) entered the season ranked seventh in Division 4 and narrowly edged Cuba City in its opener Dec. 8.
Black Hawk 67, Platteville 50
(from Monday, Dec. 7 @ South Wayne)
Platteville 24 26 — 50
Black Hawk 36 31 — 67
Platteville (3–1) — Emma Rooney 5, Maddie Cooley 10, Lizzy Poller 7, Camryn Nies 17, Madison Devlin 6, Ellie Temperly 3, Hailey Weigel 2. Totals — 14 16-24 50.
Black Hawk (3–0) — Bailey Butler 30, Raylin Peterson 7, Tara Wellnitz 5, Kaylee Marty 10, Macie Stauffacher 6, Makayla Mau 9. Totals — 24 13-19 67.
3-point goals — P: 6 (Poller 1, Nies 5), BH: 5 (Butler 2, Stauffacher 2, Mau 1). Team fouls — P: 15, BH: 19. Fouled out — P: Cooley.