SOUTH WAYNE – Barneveld point guard Hannah Whitish and her Golden Eagle teammates were not in a sharing mood on Friday night.
Whitish, a University of Nebraska recruit, outscored Black Hawk all by herself and her teammates went along for the ride as the #1-ranked Golden Eagles locked up sole possession of the Six Rivers East title with a 70-29 victory over the Lady Warriors at BHHS on Feb. 12.
“They are good,” said Black Hawk head coach Mike Flanagan about the top-ranked Eagles. “Whitish did whatever she wanted to tonight. That’s how good she is. She’s going to Nebraska for a reason.”
The Eagles (21-0 overall, 9-0 SRE) remain unbeaten on the season en route to their fifth straight league title, while the Warriors (12-8, 8-2) finish conference play in second-place in the East.
Barneveld erased any hopes of a Warrior upset early on by reeling off the first 22 points of the game to put the Warriors in a huge hole. H. Whitish scored 10 of her team’s points during the run and Mattie Schave added six for the Eagles.
Black Hawk’s Aleigha Sigafus hit back-to-back baskets midway through the opening half to put the hosts on the scoreboard, but they would get no closer than 16 the rest of the night as Barneveld charged to the title.
“We needed to put the ball in the hole a few more times. When you don’t see that happening against a team like Barneveld, it’s hard to stay optimistic,” Flanagan admitted. “We kept fighting. We’re going to run into some tough teams in our sectional, but nobody like (Barneveld). The only way we’ll see them again is up at Green Bay. That wouldn’t be so bad.”
H. Whitish added 13 more points in the first half to put the Eagles up 44-17 at the break, and she tacked on another 12 points in the fourth quarter to finish the game with 35 points. She knocked down seven of the Eagles’ 10 3 pointers.
Sigafus registered a double-double for the Warriors with 10 points and 14 rebounds while adding four steals and two assists.
Sam Lovelace chipped in with six points and five boards, while Brooke Moore netted five points and Tatum Jackson chipped in with three assists and three steals.
At Juda, on Tuesday, Feb. 9, defense was the name of the game for the Lady Warriors as they extended their winning over the Panthers to 23 games with a 45-26 Six Rivers East victory.
Black Hawk rolled out to a 21-11 advantage in the first half, and then came back out to outscore the Panthers (11-10, 5-4) by a 24-15 margin in the second half to cruise to a 19-point decision.
Aleigha Sigafus led the Warriors with 20 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Hannah Herbst chipped in with 10 points and five boards, while Sam Lovelace scored six points and Tatum Jackson handed out a team-best six assists.
At New Glarus, on Monday, Feb. 15, the host Glarner Knight used a 32-20 second-half scoring run to pull away from the Lady Warriors, 52-38, in their non-conference season finale.
Aleigha Sigafus led Black Hawk with a game-high 18 points and had five rebounds. Sam Lovelace added eight points.
The WIAA Division 5 tournament will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Black Hawk received the #4-seed and will host #13-seed Madison Country Day (6-11) in a regional quarterfinal game in South Wayne, starting at 7 p.m.
“I am very disappointed in the way seeding went. To me, the coaches totally disregarded the fact that we defeated Randolph. Obviously, if (Randolph is) the #2-seed and we beat them head-to-head, our placement at a #4 seed is illogical. However, voting in these meetings can be very political, with coaches voting along conference lines, and that’s a lot of what happened here. I appealed the initial seeding but could not garner enough votes to change our situation,” stated Flanagan.
The regional semifinal game will be held on Friday, Feb 26, also at 7 p.m. The regional final is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.
“(Madison Country Day) has struggled this season, but we all know that anything can happen in the tournament. We will have to be prepared to play our best each night out,” added Flanagan. “Now, if we win our first-round game, we will have to face the winner of Rio versus Argyle. Should we win that one, our next opponent will likely be the current #2 in the state Fall River, who made a run to the state tournament last year. Again, anything can happen, so we will just have to embrace the opportunities that come before us.”
Barneveld……... 44 26 – 70
Black Hawk…… 17 12 – 29
Barneveld – Fargo 5, Sutter 2, Walker 4, Bahr 2, Skaife 2, Pickarts 6, H. Whitish 35, M. Whitish 4, Schave 8, Connoy 2. Totals – 28 4-8 70.
Black Hawk – Brianna Hagen 3, Aleigha Sigafus 10, Brooke Moore 5, Abby Baumgartner 3, Sammy Lovelace 6, Tatum Jackson 2. Totals – 13 0-4 29.
3-point goals– BA 10 (Pickarts 2, H. Whitish 7, M. Whitish 1), BH 3 (Hagen 1, Moore 1, Baumgartner 1). Total fouls– BA 8, BH 7.
Black Hawk…… 21 24 – 45
Juda…………… 11 15 – 26
Black Hawk – Brianna Hagen 3, Hannah Herbst 10, Aleigha Sigafus 20, Brooke Moore 4, Abby Baumgartner 2, Sammy Lovelace 6. Totals – 20 2-2 45.
Juda –Jordan 0, Goecks 0, Byrne 0, Burkhalter 0, Kammerer 0, Adkins 0. Totals – 0 0-0 0.
3-point goals– BH 3 (Hagen 1, Herbst 2), J 0 (). Total fouls– BH 0, J 0.
Black Hawk…… 18 20 – 38
New Glarus…… 20 32 – 52
Black Hawk – Brianna Hagen 3, Hannah Herbst 2, Aleigha Sigafus 18, Brooke Moore 4, Abby Baumgartner 3, Sammy Lovelace 8. Totals – 13 10-15 38.
New Glarus – Rotar 2, Narveson 13, Righter 16, Sprecher 1, Frederickson 2, Wieser 2, Lee 8, Barnaby 4, Elzen 4. Totals – 21 9-14 52.
3-point goals– BH 2 (Hagen 1, Moore 1), NG 1 (Narveson 1). Total fouls– BH 15, NG 17.