SOUTH WAYNE – The Black Hawk boys’ basketball team found that points were tough to come by during a pair of losses last week.
The Warriors (2-3 overall, 0-1 in Six Rivers East) suffered through a 13-minute scoreless drought in the second half of Tuesday’s 34-25 non-conference loss to Highland, and they were limited to just nine total points in the middle two quarters in a 54-38 loss at Albany in the SRE opener on Friday evening.
At South Wayne, on Tuesday, Dec. 6, the visiting Highland Cardinals used a stout defensive effort in the second half to rally from a nine-point halftime deficit to take down the Warriors, 34-25 in a non-conference tilt.
It was Black Hawk who flexed its defensive muscles in the first half, limiting the Cardinals (1-2) to just 11 points over the first 16 minutes of play to build up a 20-11 halftime lead.
But, the Warriors had trouble putting the ball in the hoop for much of the second half as the Cards put the clamps on the hosts’ offense.
The Warriors were held scoreless the entire third quarter, allowing the Cardinals to fight back and grab a 21-20 lead.
The lid remained on the hosts’ basket for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter as shot after shot refused to fall for the Black Hawk shooters.
When Kyle Woodruff finally broke the drought with coast-to-coast layup off a steal with 3:00 to play, the Cards had built up a five-point lead.
Highland held a 29-22 advantage when the Cory Rupnow scored three straight points to cut the gap to 29-25 with 53 seconds remaining, but the Cards pulled away down the stretch to give first-year head coach Chad Paquette– a former Shullsburg standout– his first varsity victory.
Bailey Bodenstein poured in 10 points and Nic Pierick added nine points to pace Highland on the night.
Rupnow netted a game-high 12 points to lead the Warriors, while Hayden Schliem chipped in with six points for the hosts.
At Albany, on Friday, Dec. 9, the hosts Comets outscored the Warriors in each of the final three quarters to rally from an eight-point first quarter deficit and take the Six Rivers East opener, 54-38, from Black Hawk.
The Warriors jumped out to a 17-9 advantage by the end of the first quarter, but the lead wouldn’t stand as the Comets (2-2, 1-0) put together quite a charge over the final three quarter.
Albany shaved the deficit down to three by halftime, then used a 14-2 third quarter scoring run to garner a 35-26 lead heading into the final frame.
In the fourth quarter, the Comets poured in 19 points to Black Hawk’s 12 to put the game away.
Isaiah Shell tallied a game-high 17 points to lead three Albany players in double figures. Gavin Ruef added 12 points and Tyler VanDusen followed with 11 for the Comets.
Cory Rupnow paced the Warriors with 14 points. Coltin Piefer chipped in with seven points, and Kyle Woodruff had five for the guests.
Black Hawk travels to Barneveld for a SRE contest on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
Black Hawk… 17 7 2 12 - 38
Albany...……. 9 14 14 19 - 54
Leading Scorers: Cory Rupnow 14, Coltin Piefer 7, Kyle Woodruff 5, Seth Butler 4, Hayden Schliem 3, Cuyler Meier 3, Cory Triem 2.
Highland…… 5 6 10 13 - 34
Black Hawk… 7 13 0 5 - 25
Leading Scorers: Cory Rupnow 12, Hayden Schliem 6, Kyle Walters 3, Kyle Woodruff 2, Seth Butler 2.