SOUTH WAYNE – Once Black Hawk got its offense rolling on Friday night, they could not be slowed down as they demolished the visiting Belmont Braves, 76-33, in a make-up non-conference boys’ basketball game at BHHS on Feb. 16.
The Braves (2-18 overall) battled the Warriors (14-6) to an 8-8 tie five minutes into the game, but the hosts finished off the first half by outscoring the Braves by a 38-9 margin to open up a 46-17 halftime advantage.
“Our press helped build us a lead. We also had contributions from many kids with four players in double figures,” said Black Hawk head coach Charlie Anderson.
The lead continued to expand in the second half as the Warriors closed the night with a 30-16 second-half scoring edge.
“Black Hawk is a strong team. We came out ready to play right away, but then we started beating ourselves with our ball control and passing,” noted Belmont head coach Mitch Austin. “We were shorthanded with Luke Kamps out sick, and then Ethan James went out in the first half with an injury. We need to be able to respond in tough moments and we failed to do so that night.”
Junior Conner Meyer scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Warriors. Seniors CJ Leuzinger and Jett Rufenacht chipped in with 12 points apiece, and junior Kyle Lovelace netted a career-high 11 points for Black Hawk.
Sophomore Brady Wedig led the Braves with 14 points and six rebounds, while sophomore Justan Ernst scored 10 points and led the team with two steals.
At South Wayne, on Tuesday, Feb. 13, the Warriors (7-4 Six Rivers East) got off to another great start on both ends of the floor en route to 63-43 league victory over the visiting Albany Comets.
Conner Meyer and Jett Rufenacht each scored 10 points for the Warriors in the first half, while Leuzinger and fellow senior Jason Truethardt added seven points apiece in the half to lead the hosts out to a 36-15 halftime lead.
“In the first half, I thought our defense was on point. We got quite a few transition baskets and built up a big lead. Albany did a much better job breaking our pressure in the second half. We only gave up one offensive rebound all night, so that was huge as well,” stated Coach Anderson.
Treuthardt finished with a career-best 15 points to match Meyer for the team lead. Meyer also tallied a team-high seven assists.
Leuzinger recorded 14 points, two steals and two blocked shots, while Rufenacht added 13 points and senior Michael Flanagan pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
Josh Dahl led the Comets (6-15, 2-10) with a game-high 19 points. Corbin Kelley followed with 12 points for the guests.
At Patch Grove, on Tuesday, Feb. 13, River Ridge guard Cole Crubel went off for a game-high 30 points to carry the host Timberwolves (12-9, 8-3) to a 62-39 Six Rivers West victory over Belmont (1-10).
C. Crubel poured in 17 points in the first half to lead the ‘Wolves out to a 31-17 halftime lead.
“Crubel is a smooth player and was on that night,” cited Coach Austin.
Junior Ethan James finished with a career-high 14 points for the Braves after sinking three 3-pointers. Brady Wedig added 10 points for Belmont, while Justan Ernst and Colin Austin scored five apiece.
“Ethan stepped up on a night that our offense was struggling. We settled for a lot (of quick shots) on offense and needed to pick up our defensive intensity. We also didn’t get to the free throw line enough and convert simple plays,” added Coach Austin.
Belmont’s non-conference game against North Crawford on Monday, Feb. 19, was cancelled and will not be made up this season.
Black Hawk closes the regular season with a SRE game at Argyle (6-15, 0-11) on Thursday, Feb. 22. Belmont ends the regular season hosting Cassville (9-11, 6-5) in SRW action on Thursday evening.
The WIAA Division 5 tournament will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 27. The Warriors received the #6-seed and will host #11-seed Albany in a regional quarterfinal game at home on Tuesday, starting at 7 p.m.
“I felt (our seed) is a little low, but hopefully we can use that as a chip on our shoulder. Albany is an opponent that we are familiar with. Josh Dahl is a quick guard, and they do a nice job of running their 2-3 zone. We will need to make sure we limit them to one shot a possession, and get out in transition,” Anderson said.
The Braves are the #15-seed and will play at #2-seed Potosi (16-5) in a quarterfinal contest on Tuesday, also at 7 p.m.
“Potosi is a strong team that is well coached. We will come out in this game looking to make them score at the rim and not shoot us out of it right away. If we can manage our turnovers and control the glass, it will be a competitive game until the end. We look forward to playing them a third time this season,” stated Austin.
The regional semifinal games will be held on Friday, March 2, at 7 p.m., and the regional final games are scheduled for Saturday, March 3, also at 7 p.m.
Belmont……......... 17 16 – 33
Black Hawk……... 46 30 – 76
Belmont – Justan Ernst 10, Colin Austin 6, Kolton Westemeier 3, Brady Wedig 14. Totals – 13 5-8 33.
Black Hawk – Michael Flanagan 4, Colby Argall 2, Jason Treuthardt 5, Kyle Lovelace 11, Jett Rufenacht 12, Rece Shelton 1, Cade Meyer 5, Conner Meyer 18, CJ Leuzinger 12, Jared Knapp 6. Totals – 32 6-9 76.
3-point goals– BE 2 (Wedig 2), BH 6 (Treuthardt 1, Lovelace 1, Leuzinger 2, Knapp 2). Total fouls– BE 9, BH 12. Fouled out– None.
Albany…………. 15 33 – 48
Black Hawk…… 36 32 – 68
Albany – Dahl 19, Parker 3, Kelley 12, Hulbert 6, Shell 2, Stauffacher 6. Totals – 17 7-9 48.
Black Hawk – Jason Treuthardt 15, Jett Rufenacht 13, Rece Shelton 2, Brandon Schiferl 2, Conner Meyer 15, CJ Leuzinger 14, Jared Knapp 7. Totals – 27 6-10 68.
3-point goals– A 7 (Dahl 2, Parker 1, Kelley 2, Hulbert 2), BH 8 (Treuthardt 3, Rufenacht 3, Meyer 1, Leuzinger 1). Total fouls– A 11, BH 14. Fouled out– A: Stauffacher.
Belmont……...... 17 22 – 39
River Ridge…… 31 31 – 62
Belmont – Justan Ernst 5, Ethan James 14, Jacob Amenda 4, Colin Austin 5, Luke Kamps 1, Brady Wedig 10. Totals – 14 6-9 39.
River Ridge – Bloom 8, Moravits 6, B. Crubel 2, Mumm 2, Clark 1, Redman 5, C. Crubel 30, Steiber 8. Totals – 20 15-20 62.
3-point goals– B 5 (Ernst 1, James 3, Austin 1), RR 7 (Moravits 1, Redman 1, C. Crubel 5). Total fouls– B 16, RR 13. Fouled out– None.