SOUTH WAYNE — Black Hawk’s run to the state football finals put a slight delay on the start of the boys’ basketball season. While other teams got in a few non-conference games before starting league, the Warriors– one of the favorites in the Six Rivers East this season after being ranked #3 in Division 5 in a pre-season state poll– jumped into conference play with a pair of games against two top contenders last week.
The Warriors kicked off the 2017-18 season hosting defending SRE champion Barneveld on Tuesday, Dec. 5, and then went on the road on Friday, Dec. 8, to face last year’s SRE runner-up Pecatonica in game two of the season.
Black Hawk put up a fight in both games, but came out on the losing end in each contest losing a double-digit lead in the second half to fall to the Golden Eagles, 53-44, in their opener on Tuesday evening, and falling behind early and never catching back up against the Vikings in a 66-56 loss in Blanchardville on Friday night.
“So far this year, we have not shot the ball well as a team, hitting just 35 percent of our shots from the field and 17 percent from beyond the three-point line. That might have something to do with the late start to our season, however we’re not looking for excuses. We just need to finish more consistently,” said Black Hawk head coach Charlie Anderson.
At South Wayne, on Tuesday, Dec. 5, the Warriors (0-2 overall and SRE) were in control for the first 28 minutes against defending WIAA Division 5 state champion Barneveld, but the Golden Eagles (1-3, 1-0) outscored them 23-3 over the final eight minutes to erase an 11-point deficit and pick up their first win of the 2017-18 with a 53-44 decision.
Black Hawk held a 31-26 advantage at the intermission, and then opened the second half on a 10-4 scoring run to build up a 41-30 advantage midway through the period.
Barneveld answered back with a 9-0 run to cut the gap to 41-39 with five minutes to play. Kauy Fargo tied the score at 42 all a minute later with a 3-pointer, and Malcolm Reed put the Eagles into the lead to stay with an old-fashioned three-point play with 2:13 to play.
The Eagles went 8-for-10 at the free throw line in the final 1:02 to put the game away. Reed (14 points) and Fargo (11) combined for 25 of Barneveld’s 27 points in the second half to rally their team to the win.
“We played very well up until the final eight minutes. We just settled way too much for early threes and didn’t attack the basket. Defensively, we played okay when we didn’t foul. Unfortunately, the problem was we fouled way too much,” noted Anderson.
Fargo finished the night with a game-high 21 points and Reed added 18 for the Eagles, who finished the night going 22-for-30 from the stripe.
Junior Conner Meyer registered a double-double for Black Hawk with a team-high 14 points and 10 rebounds to go along with two assists and two steals.
Senior CJ Leuzinger tallied 10 points, two assists and two steals, while junior Colby Argall scored seven points and senior Jason Treuthardt pulled down seven boards.
At Blanchardville, on Friday, Dec. 9, junior Colton Schraepfer returned from an injury suffered during football season to pour in a game-high 20 points and lead the host Vikings to a 66-56 win over the Warriors in SRE play.
“Again, scoring droughts were a problem this game. We got out to an early lead, but struggled for long portions of the game to hit shots and ended up in a big hole,” declared Coach Charlie Anderson. “We played some different defenses that allowed us to fight back within seven (in the second half), but the deficit was too big. We fought back, which I was proud of.”
Senior Michael Flanagan led the Warriors with 14 points, four steals and three assists. CJ Leuzinger chipped in with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Conner Meyer added 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Evan Prust scored 12 points, Jaden Hendrickson netted nine and Zach Eaton tallied eight to aid the Vikings’ balanced attack.
Black Hawk has a Six Rivers East game at Juda on Friday, Dec. 15.
Barneveld……... 26 27 – 53
Black Hawk…… 31 13 – 44
Barneveld – Reed 18, Fargo 21, Slaney 5, Ignatius 4, Evans 5. Totals – 14 22-30 53.
Black Hawk – Michael Flanagan 4, Colby Argall 7, Kyle Lovelace 5, Jett Rufenacht 4, Conner Meyer 14, CJ Leuzinger 10. Totals – 18 6-12 44.
3-point goals– BA 3 (Fargo 1, Ignatius 1, Evans 1), BH 2 (Lovelace 1, Meyer 1). Total fouls– BA na, BH na. Fouled out– BH: Jason Treuthardt.
Black Hawk…… 20 36 – 56
Pecatonica……. 29 37 – 66
Black Hawk – Michael Flanagan 14, Colby Argall 3, Jason Treuthardt 5, Kyle Lovelace 5, Jett Rufenacht 5, Conner Meyer 10, CJ Leuzinger 11, Jared Knapp 3. Totals – 20 11-16 56.
Pecatonica – Schraepfer 20, Prust 12, Eaton 8, J. Hendrickson 9, B. Hendrickson 4, Johnson 6, Ruegsegger 7. Totals – 26 9-14 66.
3-point goals– BH 5 (Flanagan 2, Treuthardt 1, Lovelace 1, Knapp 1), P 5 (J. Hendrickson 2, Johnson 2, Ruegsegger 1). Total fouls–BH 18, P 19. Fouled out– none.