SOUTH WAYNE – Black Hawk was not in a sharing mood last Tuesday night.
The #4-ranked Warriors locked up their first Six Rivers East championship since 2008 by taking down the visiting Barneveld Golden Eagles, 47-43, in a thrilling prep boys’ basketball game at Black Hawk High School on Tuesday, Feb 12.
“This feels good for the kids, and I’m especially happy for the seniors who get to go out on a high note. They deserve this,” said second-year Black Hawk head coach Corey Manlick. “They’ve changed this thing around in the last two years. They’ve really stepped things up.”
Junior guard Seth Butler poured in a game-high 16 points and pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds to lead the Warriors, and his brother, sophomore center Heath Butler, added 10 points and 11 rebounds for another double-double.
Seth scored nine of his 16 points in the second half to rally the Warriors (20-1 overall, 11-1 in SRE) from a 22-18 halftime deficit, while Heath scored a pair of putback baskets in the fourth quarter and pulled down a key rebound with 10 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
Barneveld (12-10, 9-3) had a chance to forge a tie atop the East standings with a win on Tuesday night, and they came out and played like it in the first half.
“It was two teams who knew what was on the line tonight. Barneveld knew they had to beat us to get a share of the crown, and we knew it as well,” explained Manlick.
The two teams traded the lead five times in the first quarter and seven times in the first half until a 3-pointer by Jeremy Whitish and a steal and layup by Devon Schult in the final minute of the first half put the guests ahead 22-18.
Black Hawk charged out of the locker room in the second half and reeled off eight unanswered points to overtake the lead at 26-22, but they could ldo ittle to shake off the Eagles, who answered every one of the Warriors shots with one of their own.
“Barneveld played a very scrappy game. Coach Whitish has them ready to go. Their kids made some plays and hit some big shots,” said Manlick.
Barneveld sophomore Hunter Whitish scored five of his seven points early in the fourth quarter and added an assist to fuel a 9-2 run that tied the game at 38 all with 4:39 to play.
S. Butler put the Warriors back on top to stay at 41-38 when he converted a three-point play with 3:55 remaining, and H. Butler scored another putback with 2:37 to go to make it 43-38.
J. Whitish pulled the Eagles back within two at 45-43 when he sank a long 3-pointer with 1:10 remaining, however a pair of free throws by senior Coltin Piefer with :32.2 left sealed the deal.
The Warriors went 10-for-17 at the foul line in the second half, including a 7-for-10 effort in the fourth quarter
“Free throws win championships and we proved that tonight. Our free throws gave us the conference crown,” noted Manlick. “We just made a few more plays at the end of the game to get the W.”
Senior center Cory Rupnow scored four of his nine points in the fourth quarter, while Piefer and senior Cuyler Meier added six points apiece for the Warriors.
J. Whitish sank four treys on the way to a team-high 14 points, and Schult dropped in two 3s and finished with 12 points for the Eagles.
At Orangeville, on Thursday, Feb. 14, the Warriors outscored the host Broncos 36-16 in the second half to rally from an eight-point deficit and post a 54-42 non-conference victory.
Seth Butler netted 16 points and Tyler Peterson dropped in 10 for the Warriors, while Heath Butler added nine, Cory Rupnow tallied eight and Cuyler Meier chipped in with seven.
At Argyle, on Friday, Feb. 15, the Warriors closed the regular season riding a 16-game winning streak after routing the host Orioles, 62-32, in their SRE finale.
Cory Rupnow led four Warriors in double figures with 12 points. Seth Butler poured in 11 points, while Cuyler Meier and Coltin Piefer added 10 apiece and Heath Butler netted nine in the win.
Black Hawk opened the WIAA Division 5 state tournament by hosting #15-seed Oakfield (2-17) on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The results of that game were not known at press time.
Tuesday’s winner faces the winner of the #7 Cambria-Friesland (11-10) vs. #10 Rio (8-13) in the semifinal contest on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. at the home of the highest seed. The regional championship game will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23, at a time and place to be determined.
Barneveld…... 12 10 7 14 – 43
Black Hawk… 11 7 14 15 – 47
Barneveld – Sorensen 4, Hodgson 2, Owens 2, Hellenbrand 2, J. Whitish 14, H. Whitish 7, Schult 12. Totals – 17 3-4 43.
Black Hawk – Cuyler Meier 6, Seth Butler 16, Heath Butler 10, Coltin Piefer 6, Cory Rupnow 9. Totals – 16 13-23 47.
3-point goals – BA 6 (J. Whitish 4, Schult 2), BH 2 (Meier 1, S. Butler 1). Total fouls – BA 16, BH 10.
Black Hawk… 13 20 15 14 – 62
Argyle…..…… 6 8 8 10 – 32
Black Hawk – Noah Thomson 2, Cuyler Meier 10, Brett Lovelace 4, Seth Butler 11, Merik Meythaler 2, Coltin Piefer 10, Cory Rupnow 12, Bret Paulson 2. Totals – 27 6-12 62.
Argyle – Ploessl 3, Ostby 12, Emberson 8, Vives 4, Waage 5. Totals – 11 7-10 32.
3-point goals – BH 2 (Butler 1, Piefer 1), A 3 (Emberson 2). Total fouls – BH 9, A 10.
Black Hawk… 9 9 22 14 – 54
Orangeville… 15 11 11 5 – 42
Black Hawk – Tyler Peterson 10, Cuyler Meier 7, Brett Lovelace 2, Seth Butler 16, Heath Butler 9, Coltin Piefer 2, Cory Rupnow 8. Totals – 19 14-22 54.
Orangeville – Kleckerr 26, Koester 4, Getz 7, Brown 5. Totals – 15 10-16 42.
3-point goals – BH 2 (Peterson 2), O 4 (Kleckerr 2, Getz 1, Brown 1). Total fouls – BH 19, O NA.