SOUTH WAYNE — Black Hawk’s relentless full-court pressure got to Shullsburg early as the top-ranked Lady Warriors buried under the visiting Miners, 57-29, in a non-conference prep girls’ basketball game held at BHHS on Saturday, Jan. 6.
The Warriors improved to 13-0 on the season with the win and halted the seven-game winning streak the Miners (9-2 overall) had coming into the game.
“(Our press) is a big part of what we do. We’re lucky to have the athletes we do to run it successfully. The IQ those kids have with regards to the complexity of it and the number of reads they have to make running it is impressive,” said Black Hawk head coach Michael Flanagan. “For them to run that type of a defense as well as they do and put a good team like Shullsburg in awkward position like they did is a testament to their ability to buy into our program.”
The teams traded baskets early with Shullsburg senior Brianna Leahy tying the game up at 2-2 by knocking down a tough basket in the lane surrounded by Warriors.
That’s when Black Hawk really started to turn up the heat on the Miners’ ball-handlers, forcing 14 Shullsburg turnovers over the first seven minutes of the game which helped fuel a 17-0 scoring run that put the Warriors ahead 19-2 with 10:44 remaining in the first half.
After senior guard Hannah Herbst knocked down a basket to put the Warriors back into the lead stay, sophomore Natalie Leuzinger and junior Sydney Delzer chipped in with five points apiece and freshman Bailey Butler buried one of her two first-half 3-pointers to push the lead out to 17.
“We knew coming in that limiting the live-ball turnovers was going to be key for us. We knew we had to survive the first few minutes and I don’t think that we succeeded in doing that. We just couldn’t get down early, but that’s what happened,” explained Shullsburg head coach Nathan Russell.
The Miners used a pair of treys from senior Nicole Teutschmann and a layup from freshman Layla Alt to cut the deficit to 22-10 with seven minutes remaining in the half, but that was as close as they would get as the Warriors closed the half with a 17-10 run to extend their lead to 39-20 at the intermission.
“There was a point where we felt if we could get within 12 by halftime we’d be feeling pretty good about ourselves. But, they pushed it out to 21 and then it was what it was at that point,” mentioned Russell.
Black Hawk’s big three scorers– Leuzinger, B. Butler and Hailey Butler– combined for 22 of the team’s points in the opening half, but it was the eight points off the bench from Delzer and six points from Herbst that made the difference on the scoreboard.
“We talk about opportunities all the time at practice. For some, they are always going to be there. But, we also say that on any given night there are going to be kids who find themselves with opportunities to make a difference and they have to be ready to answer the call. Sydney and Hannah did that for us in the first half,” Flanagan remarked.
Black Hawk opened the second half on a 7-0 run to build up a 46-20 advantage, and then held the Miners to just nine points the rest of the way to coast to a 57-29 victory.
“We’re never satisfied as coaches, and the girls know were never satisfied, so they keep working hard. I can’t say enough about how grounded they are with the way they come out and play every night and with the way they conduct themselves both on and off the court,” said Flanagan. “They don’t take anything for granted. They understand that they have to continue to work hard. I’m really proud of their character.”
B. Butler finished with a game-high 15 points, five steals and five rebounds. Leuzinger tallied 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while H. Butler had nine points and five steals.
Delzer contributed a career-high nine points and three steals, and Herbst added six points and four steals for the Warriors.
Teutschmann scored all 10 of her points in the first half for the Miners. Leahy matched her classmate with 10 points.
“I don’t think the girls are too down about this experience. I don’t think they’ll be hanging their heads about this loss. We’ll learn from it and get better,” declared Russell.
At South Wayne, on Thursday, Jan. 4, the Lady Warriors employed the same formula that has worked for them so far this season to roll over the visiting Albany Comets, 62-23, in their annual Teacher’s Appreciation Night game.
The Warriors (5-0 Six Rivers East) used the stifling press and balanced scoring attack to jump out to a 43-16 halftime lead, and then outscored the Comets (4-8, 2-3) in the second half, 19-7, to run away with a 39-point decision.
“It was a great opportunity to work on some things we knew we were going to have to do (against Shullsburg) because Albany has some formidable post players, too,” noted Coach Flanagan.
Natalie Leuzinger poured in a game-high 19 points to lead the way. Bailey Butler followed with 17 points, five assists and three steals, and Hannah Butler tallied six points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals in the win.
Kaylee Marty added seven points and Hannah Herbst scored six for the Warriors.
Brook Kahler had 10 points to lead Albany.
Black Hawk can take a commanding lead atop the Six Rivers East when they head to Argyle for a conference clash on Friday, Jan. 12.
Shullsburg…….. 20 9 – 29
Black Hawk……. 39 18 – 57
Shullsburg – Kayla Klotz 2, Madison Russell 3, Reva Spillane 2, Nicole Teutschmann 10, Brianna Leahy 10, Layla Alt 2. Totals – 10 6-7 29.
Black Hawk – Hannah Herbst 6, Natalie Leuzinger 10, Hannah Butler 9, Kaylee Marty 2, Bailey Butler 15, Abby Argall 2, Sydney Delzer 9, Cheyenne Stewart 4. Totals – 21 10-13 57.
3-point goals– S 3 (Russell 1, Teutschmann 2), BH 5 (Herbst 1, B. Butler 2, Delzer 2). Total fouls– S 15, BH 13. Fouled out– none.
Albany…………. 16 7 – 23
Black Hawk…… 43 19 – 62
Albany – O’Bel 2, Kahler 10, Freitag 2, Anderson 1, Stefanik 2, Mortaloni 2, Beck 4. Totals – 8 7-11 23.
Black Hawk – Brianna Hagen 3, Hannah Herbst 6, Natalie Leuzinger 19, Hannah Butler 6, Kaylee Marty 7, Bailey Butler 17, Abby Argall 2, Cheyenne Stewart 2. Totals – 23 7-13 62.
3-point goals– A 0, BH 9 (Hagen 1, Leuzinger 3, B. Butler 5). Total fouls– A 13, BH 13. Fouled out– none.