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#8 Black Hawk goes deep to defeat Darlington
Darl-BH GBB Butler color
BLACK HAWK freshman Hannah Butler (#12) drives around a Darlington senior Sadie Fitzsimons during Fridays girls basketball game. Butler finished with a game-high 19 points to lead the #8-ranked Lady Warriors over the Redbirds, 60-49.

    DARLINGTON – Black Hawk connected on six of their nine 3-point baskets in the first half to build up a 19-point halftime lead, and then did all they could to maintain their double-digit lead throughout the second half as the #8-ranked Lady Warriors defeated the host Darlington Redbirds, 60-49, in a hotly-contested prep girls’ basketball game at DHS on Friday, Dec. 23.
    A late afternoon snow storm delayed the Black Hawk team bus prior to the game, but nothing stopped the Warriors (7-0 overall) from shooting out to an early lead as 3-pointers by freshmen Maddy Huschitt, Hannah Butler and Natalie Leuzinger and junior Brianna Hagen put the guests ahead 15-7.
    A trey on the other end of the floor by sophomore guard Bethany McDonald brought the Lady Redbirds (6-4) back within three at 17-14 midway through the first half, however the Warriors charged back with 16 unanswered points to push the advantage back to 33-14.
    McDonald ended the Redbirds’ drought with another 3 with 2:08 to play in the half, but another trey by Hagen right before the half ended sent the Warriors into the intermission sporting a 38-19 lead.
    Black Hawk extended the lead to as many as 21 points early in the second half, but the ‘Birds did not go away quietly. Sophomore guard Kaylee Meyers buried three 3s during a 21-10 Darlington scoring run to close the gap to 52-42 with around three minutes left in the game.
    Hagen nailed her third 3 of the game to squelch the comeback, and the Warriors went 5-for-10 from the foul line over the final two minutes to seal the victory.
    Butler scored 13 of her game-high 19 points in the first half to lead the Warriors, while Leuzinger added 10 of her 15 points in the opening half. The freshmen also led their team with eight rebounds apiece.
    Hagen added nine points and Huschitt finished with eight for Black Hawk, who had as many 3-pointers (9) as 2-pointers (9) on the night.
    Meyers came off the bench for 10 of her team-high 14 points in the second half to guide the Redbirds. Senior Taryn Rankin added 11 points and five rebounds, while McDonald finished with seven points and senior Callie Norton added six points– all in the second half– for the ‘Birds.
    Kathleen Mathias pulled down seven rebounds to lead Darlington, whose four losses have come to teams with a combined record of 24-5 this season. Three of those teams– Black Hawk (#8 in Division 5), Mineral Point (#6 in D4) and Cuba City (#10 in D4) are ranked in the latest State Coaches Poll.
    Things don’t get any easier for Darlington with two more games scheduled against ranked opponents over their next three outings. The Redbirds have a daunting non-conference contest at Shullsburg (4-1, ranked #3 in D5) on Monday, Jan. 2, and then a pair of tough SWAL games at Iowa-Grant (5-2) on Thursday, Jan. 5, and at home against Riverdale (6-1, ranked #9 in D5) on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
    Black Hawk will host New Glarus (6-4) in a non-conference game on Thursday, Dec. 29.
    At South Wayne, on Thursday, Dec. 22, Black Hawk jumped ahead 24-6 on the Albany Comets in the first half and rolled to a 49-25 victory in Six Rivers East play.
    Hannah Butler sank five 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 21 points and she added four rebounds, four steals and three assists to lead the Warriors’ effort. Natalie Leuzinger followed with three 3s and 19 points for the hosts.
    Junior guard Hannah Herbst tallied five steals and four assists, while Maddy Huschitt contributed five rebounds, four assists and four steals to the cause.
    At Mineral Point, on Tuesday, Dec. 20, the visiting Redbirds took a 22-20 lead with them into the halftime break, but the #6-ranked Lady Pointers used a big second-half effort to rally past Darlington, 48-29, in a SWAL showdown.
    Syd Staver dropped in 17 of her game-high 23 points in the Pointers’ 28-point outburst in the second half to lead the charge. The Redbirds were held to 17 points over the final 18 minutes of play.
    Callie Norton and Kaylee Meyers scored eight points apiece to pace the ‘Birds. Chelsie Golackson chipped in with six points for Darlington.

Black Hawk……… 38   22 – 60
Darlington……….. 19   30 – 49
    Black Hawk – Brianna Hagen 9, Hannah Herbst 2, Natalie Leuzinger 15, Hannah Butler 19, Maddy Huschitt 8, Abby Argall 4, Sydney Delzer 3. Totals – 18  15-22  60.
    Darlington – Gabrielle Steiner 4, Callie Norton 6, Sadie Fitzsimons 2, Bethany McDonald 7, Taryn Rankin 11, Kaylee Meyers 14, Chelsie Golackson 5. Totals – 17  9-15  49.
    3-point goals– BH 9 (Hagen 3, Leuzinger 1, Butler 2, Huschitt 2, Delzer 1), D 6 (McDonald 2, Meyers 3, Golackson 1). Total fouls– BH 17, D 20. Fouled out– none.

Darlington………. 22   17 – 39
Mineral Point…… 20   28 – 48
    Darlington – Callie Norton 8, Sadie Fitzsimons 4, Bethany McDonald 5, Kathleen Mathias 2, Taryn Rankin 2, Kennedy Rankin 4, Kaylee Meyers 8, Chelsie Golackson 6. Totals – 15  5-11  39.
    Mineral Point – Staver 23, Kruser 5, Chubb 7, Aschliman 9, Johnson 2, Ross 2. Totals – 17  12-24  48.
    3-point goals– D 4 (McDonald, Meyers 2, Golackson 1), MP 2 (Staver 2). Total fouls– D 23, MP 13. Fouled out– D: Mathias, T. Rankin.

Albany………..   6   19 – 25
Black Hawk…. 24   25 – 49
    Albany – na. Totals – na.
    Black Hawk – Brianna Hagen 4, Natalie Leuzinger 19, Hannah Butler 21, Sammy Lovelace 1, Sydeny Delzer 2, Cheyenne Stewart 2. Totals – 18  4-11  49.
    3-point goals– A na, BH 9 (Hagen 1, Leuzinger 3, Butler 5). Total fouls– A na, BH 9. Fouled out– none.