ALBANY — Black Hawk had to wait an extra day to celebrate winning their second straight Six Rivers East outright championship title, but the top-ranked Lady Warriors made it worth the wait as they rolled over the host Albany, 53-23, in a make-up girls’ basketball game played at AHS on Saturday, Feb. 10.
“We are very proud to have secured an outright conference title again. To do so, the girls have had to show up every single night ready to play. To have the chance on Thursday to have our second consecutive undefeated conference record and regular season is a testament to the work these kids have put in,” said Black Hawk head coach Michael Flanagan.
The Warriors (21-0 overall, 11-0 SRE) have now won 21 consecutive games this season, while running their SRE winning streak to 21 games and their road winning streak to 21 games as well. Saturday’s win was Black Hawk’s 23rd straight against Albany.
The Warriors jumped out to a 32-9 lead on the Comets (8-12, 5-6) in the first half, and cruised through the second half to secure sole possession of the East crown.
Sophomore Natalie Leuzinger registered a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Warriors, while freshman Bailey Butler tallied 16 points and five steals in the win.
Sophomore Hannah Butler chipped in with six points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals for Black Hawk.
At South Wayne, on Tuesday, Feb. 6, Black Hawk– the #1-ranked team in Division 5– played host to Platteville– the #6-ranked team in Division 3– and battled their way to an impressive 61-40 non-conference victory over the visiting Lady Hillmen.
Natalie Leuzinger poured in a game-high 25 points and pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds to lead the Black Hawk attack. Hannah Butler added 10 points and five rebounds for the Warriors.
“Our coaching staff could not be prouder of our team for their efforts against Platteville. Their physical stature and physicality had the potential to give us significant issues, but the girls answered the call. In the half-court, we got it done by being tough on the boards and playing great team defense. As much as our press is typically the primary reason for our success in a lot of games, when it comes to beating really good teams, it is necessary to get stops in the half-court and to hold teams to one shot per possession,” stated Coach Flanagan.
Black Hawk scored the game’s first four points to take a lead they would never lose, and then added an early 14-5 scoring run to open up a 22-9 cushion. The Hillmen (16-4) never got closer than nine the rest of the way.
A 10-4 run late in the first half gave Black Hawk a 36-21 lead at the intermission, and the Warriors began the second half on a 10-5 run to push their advantage to 20 at 46-26.
The Warriors went 9-of-14 at the free throw line over the final seven minutes of the game to put Platteville away.
Bailey Butler scored eight points with three assists and three steals, while sophomore Maddy Huschitt netted seven points and senior Hannah Herbst scored six in a winning effort.
Sami Martin led the Hillmen with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Josie Neis added 11 points for the guests.
Black Hawk closes the regular season with their SRW finale at home against Pecatonica (1-19, 0-11) on Thursday, Feb. 15.
The WIAA Division 5 tournament will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 20. The Warriors received the #1-seed and will hosts #16-seed Madison Country Day (1-18) in a regional quarterfinal game at home on Tuesday, starting at 7 p.m.
As the top seed in the bracket, Coach Flanagan’s crew can play at home through the regional championship game where they are 12-0 this season.
“We know too well from last season that there are no guarantees and that we must be prepared for anything as we head into the tournament series. We will work hard every practice and find ways to challenge one another, building momentum with the approach of each level for which we are fortunate enough to qualify,” stated Flanagan.
Black Hawk……... 32 21 – 53
Albany…………… 9 14 – 23
Black Hawk – Brianna Hagen 5, Natalie Leuzinger 16, Hannah Butler 6, Kaylee Marty 3, Maddy Huschitt 4, Bailey Butler 16, Abby Argall 3, Cheyenne Stewart 2. Totals – 21 6-15 53.
Albany – O’Bel 0, Kahler 0, Freitag 0, Anderson 0, Stefanik 0, Mortaloni 0, Beck 0. Totals – 0 0-0 0.
3-point goals– BH 5 (Hagen 1, Marty 1, Huschitt 1, B. Butler 2), A 0 (). Total fouls– BH 0, A 0. Fouled out– None.
Platteville……….. 21 19 – 40
Black Hawk…….. 36 25 – 61
Platteville – Neis 11, Bailee 1, Hoyer 5, Martin 16, Carroll 2, Knockel 2, Digman 3. Totals – 15 9-17 40.
Black Hawk – Hannah Herbst 6, Natalie Leuzinger 25, Hannah Butler 10, Kaylee Marty 2, Maddy Huschitt 7, Bailey Butler 8, Sydney Delzer 2. Totals – 21 14-20 61.
3-point goals– P 1 (Neis 1), BH 5 (Leuzinger 1, H. Butler 1, Huschitt 2, B. Butler 1). Total fouls– P 10, BH 20. Fouled out– None.