PLATTEVILLE — Black Hawk closed out 2017 by winning the boys’ small school division at Platteville’s Candy Cane Classic basketball jamboree held at Platteville High School on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 28-29.
The Warriors (5-3 overall) went 2-0 with wins over Galena, 71-54, and Wauzeka-Steuben, 68-55, during the two-day tournament.
“It’s been an up and down season to say the least. It’s been frustrating at times with the late start, but it was nice to see our shooting come around this week,” said Black Hawk head coach Charlie Anderson. “I’m optimistic this team can keep improving and be a very tough out come playoff time. It’s going to be challenging, but you want to play good teams to prepare yourself for the second season.”
Senior CJ Leuzinger knocked down five of Black Hawk’s nine 3-point baskets on his way to a game-high 28 points to lead the Warriors over the Pirates in their opener on Thursday night, while junior Conner Meyer scored 19 of his game-high 28 points in the first-half to carry Black Hawk over the Hornets (8-2) on Friday afternoon.
Down 7-2 early against the Hornets, the Warriors fought back with an 18-3 run to open up a double-digit lead and then closed the half on an 11-2 run to build up a 38-18 halftime advantage.
“Offensively, we shared the ball really well. I was proud of the way we executed on offense. The first half defense was our best defensive half of the year,” admitted Anderson.
Black Hawk’s lead swelled to 62-33 midway through the second half before the Warriors took their foot off the offensive gas pedal. The Hornets outscored the Warriors, 22-6, over the final seven minutes.
“We got back into some of our base stuff and executed it well. It’s all about execution with us,” Anderson remarked. “On defense, we did a good job of closing gaps, forcing them to shoot 3s and taking charges. I’m proud of the way we played.”
Leuzinger scored 13 points, while Jett Rufenacht and Kyle Lovelace added eight points apiece for the Warriors.
Sophomore Carter Lomas led the Hornets with 13 points.
Against Galena on Thursday, the Warriors held a 33-30 halftime lead behind Leuzinger’s 13-point outburst in the first half, and he came back and scored 15 points in the second half as the Warriors outscored the Pirates, 38-24, in the second half to put the game away.
“Galena came out in a zone and it took us awhile to find the open gaps and hit some shots,” said Coach Anderson. “It was nice to see CJ have a nice game. He’s battled an injury this year, so it was nice to see him shoot it well and carry us in the first half.”
Colby Argall added eight of his 12 points in the second half, and Meyer chipped in with six of his 10 points in the second half. Rufenacht netted seven points, while Jason Treuthardt and Lovelace scores six apiece for Black Hawk.
Barrett Bell netted 18 points to lead Galena, but after scoring 14 in the first half the Warriors limited him to just four in the second half.
“In the second half, we played much better on defense and we continued to get good looks on offense,” Anderson noted.
Black Hawk has a Six Rivers West game at Albany on Friday, Jan. 5, and then returns home to host Shullsburg in a girls and boys doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 6. The girls’ junior varsity game will start at 1 p.m. on Saturday, followed by the boys’ JV game at 3 p.m., the girls’ varsity game at 5 p.m. and the boys’ varsity game at 7 p.m.
Wauzeka-Steuben… 18 37 – 55
Black Hawk……....... 38 30 – 68
Wauzeka-Steuben– Lomas 13, Ralph 3, Byrne 4, Crowley-Lee 9, Lomen 2, Walters 2, Folbrecht 8, Zimmerman 2, Stenner 5, Ni. Benish 7. Totals – 19 9-15 55.
Black Hawk – Michael Flanagan 4, Colby Argall 2, Jason Treuthardt 3, Kyle Lovelace 8, Jett Rufenacht 8, Conner Meyer 28, CJ Leuzinger 13, Jarrett Knapp 2. Totals – 29 6-12 68.
3-point goals– WS 8 (Lomas 1, Ralph 1, Crowley-Lee 3, Folbrecht 2, Stenner 1), BH 4 (Lovelace 1, Rufenacht 1, Meyer 1, Leuzinger 1). Total fouls– WS 15, BH 12. Fouled out– WS: Lomas.
Black Hawk…… 33 38 – 71
Galena…………. 30 24 – 54
Black Hawk – Michael Flanagan 2, Colby Argall 12, Jason Treuthardt 6, Kyle Lovelace 6, Jett Rufenacht 7, Conner Meyer 10, CJ Leuzinger 28. Totals – 30 2-9 71.
Galena – Bauer 6, Lorento 2, Bell 18, Einsweiler 11. Kruse 10, Allendorf 5, Anderson 2. Totals – 23 3-3 54.
3-point goals– BH 9 (Argall 1, Lovelace 2, Rufenacht 1, Leuzinger 5), G 5 (Bell 1, Einsweiler 1, Kruse 2, Allendorf 1). Total fouls–BH 13, G 11. Fouled out– none.