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Birds hold off Miners, then fall to Cubans
Darl Shulls BBB Russell drive
SHULLSBURG GUARD Pierce Russell (#20) drives around Darlington defender Zach McArthur (#12) for two of his game-high 22 points last Tuesday night.

    CUBA CITY - It was a tail of two halves as Cuba City used a strong second half showing to bury the visiting Darlington Redbirds, 58-33, in an early season SWAL boys’ basketball showdown at the Jerry Petitgoue Gymnasium on Thursday, Dec. 1.
    These two teams have tied for the SWAL championship the past two seasons, but the Cubans (2-0 overall, 1-0 in SWAL) look like they’re not going to be in the sharing mood this season after outscoring the Redbirds 34-13 in the second half to turn a 24-20 halftime lead into a 25-point victory.
    Cuba City’s Corey Vaassen scored 15 of his game-high 25 points in the first half for the hosts.
    Senior Kent Miehe poured in 11 points for the Redbirds (3-1, 0-1), while Mitchell Whalen added seven points and Brandon Hardyman netted six.
    At Darlington, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, the Redbirds opened up a big lead on Shullsburg early in the game, then spent the rest of the night holding onto the lead as they edged the Miners, 49-46, in a non-conference contest.
    The Redbirds scored the first six points of the game and added an 11-0 run later in the first quarter to build up a 19-9 lead on the Miners (0-2)
    Darlington never trailed in the game, but Shullsburg never stopped fighting their way back into it. The Miners trimmed the 10-point deficit down to 26-21 by halftime, and they got as close as three several times in the second half.
    A 3-pointer by Jacob Scott got the Miners within 49-46 with 21 seconds remaining, and the Miners had a chance to tie the game after the ‘Birds missed the front end of the bonus with :18.3 to go.
    Shullsburg put up two 3-point attempts in the final 10 seconds, but both shots rimmed out as the ‘Birds hung on for the win.
    Senior guard Brandon Hardyman scored nine of his 13 points in the first quarter to lead the Redbirds, while Kent Miehe dropped in three 3-pointers on the way to 13 points. Zach McArthur added 10 points for the hosts, and Griffin Heinberg chipped in with eight points.
    Junior guard Pierce Russell sank four treys to finish with a game-high 22 points, while senior Jacob Scott followed with 14 points and six rebounds.
    Kyle Hoppman tallied five points and seven boards for the Miners, while Collin Hauser registered five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
    Darlington hosts Fennimore in SWAL action on Friday, Dec. 9, and Barneveld in a non-conference game on Monday, Dec. 12.
    Shullsburg opens Six Rivers West play at Belmont on Friday, Dec. 9, and they travel to Argyle for a non-league game on Monday, Dec. 12.
Darlington…   8  12    9    4 - 33
Cuba City…. 10  14  16  18 - 58
Leading Scorers: Kent Miehe 11, Mitchell Whalen 7, Brandon Hardyman 6, Cedric Flesher 3, Griffin Heinberg 2, Trent Nyffenegger 2, Storm Wiegel 1, Zach McArthur 1.
Shullsburg.…   9  12    8  17 - 46
Darlington….. 19    7  12  11 - 49
Leading Scorers: Shullsburg– Pierce Russell 22, Jacob Scott 14, Kyle Hoppman 5, Collin Hauser 4, Reid Schwartz 1. Darlington– Brandon Hardyman 13, Kent Miehe 13, Zach McArthur 10, Griffin Heinberg 8, Mitchell Whalen 3, John Sturtz 2.
Platteville…. 10  12  12  13 - 47
Darlington… 16  13  16  15 - 60
Leading Scorers: Brandon Hardyman 21, Kent Miehe 13, Jake Martin 7, Cedric Flesher 5, Mitchell Whalen 5, Zach McArthur 4, Griffin Heinberg 4, Storm Wiegel 1.
Lancaster...…   8  11   7  16 - 42
Shullsburg.… 16    6   8    9 - 39
Leading Scorers: Collin Hauser 15, Pierce Russell 9, Jacob Scott 7, Kyle Hoppman 4, John Meyer 2, Hervey Trejo 2.