SOUTH WAYNE – Black Hawk opened the week by appearing in the Division 5 state rankings for the first time all season, and then the #10-ranked Warriors lived up to their billing by knocking off the #2-ranked Barneveld Golden Eagles, 53-51, in their Six Rivers East finale at Black Hawk High School on Thursday, Feb. 23.
Junior guard C.J. Leuzinger scored the game-winning basket on a layup with :04.7 remaining to snap a 51 all tie and the Warriors (18-4 overall, 9-3 SRE) withstood a last-second 3-point attempt by the Golden Eagles (19-3, 11-1) to hand the Six Rivers East champions their first league loss of the season.
“It was nice to make the plays in the end to win,” said Black Hawk head coach Charlie Anderson. “We have had some tough losses in our conference this year, and to make the necessary plays to win gives us confidence as we move on into the playoffs where you will have to win close games.”
Senior center Josh Meier scored 10 points in each half to finish with a game-high 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead Black Hawk. Sophomore Conner Meyer added 15 points and Leuzinger netted eight– all in the second half– to lead the Warriors to the victory.
Black Hawk held a slim 23-21 lead at the intermission and the Eagles continued to keep things close right down to the final horn. After Meyer scored with under a minute remaining to push the Warriors’ lead to 51-48, the Eagles answered back with a 3-pointer by senior point guard Matthew Myers to deadlock the score at 51 all.
After Leuzinger put the Warriors back on top to stay, Barneveld had one final shot at the win, but Malcolm Reed’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.
Junior guard Michael Flanagan sank two of Black Hawk’s three 3-pointers to tally eight points in the game.
Myers led three Eagles in double figures with 16 points. Malcolm Reed scored 13 and Lucas Evans chipped in with 10 for the guests.
The WIAA Division 5 boys’ tournament will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The Warriors received the #3-seed and will host #14-seed Madison Country Day (2-20) in a regional quarterfinal game on Tuesday, starting at 7 p.m.
“I like the way we are playing right now especially on defense. There are some tough teams in our sectional and it will be a grind, but wins like this we can look back on as reminders that we can compete with anybody,” exclaimed Anderson.
The regional semifinal game will be held on Friday, March 3, at 7 p.m. The regional final is scheduled for Saturday, March 4, also at 7 p.m.
Barneveld………… 21 30 – 51
Black Hawk………. 23 30 – 53
Barneveld – Myers 16, Fargo 7, Evans 10, Reed 13, Zouski 5. Totals – 19 8-9 51.
Black Hawk – Jett Rufenacht 2, Josh Meier 20, Michael Flanagan 8, Conner Meyer 15, C.J. Leuzinger 8. Totals – 24 2-6 53.
3-point goals– BA 5 (Myers 3, Fargo 1, Zouski 1), BH 3 (Flanagan 2, Meyer 1). Total fouls– BA 15, BH 13. Fouled out– BA: Zouski.