SOUTH WAYNE – Three Black Hawk players scored in double figures, led by sophomore Heath Butler’s 12-point showing in his career varsity start, to send the host Warriors flying by the Darlington Redbirds, 62-41, in their prep boys’ basketball season opener at BHHS on Friday, Nov. 16.
The Warriors (1-0 overall) wasted no time gaining the upper hand, reeling off the game’s first nine points to build up a lead they would never let go of the rest of the night.
Junior guard Seth Butler followed a pair of made free throws with a basket to put the hosts up 6-0 just moments into the game, and junior guard Tyler Peterson drained a 3-pointer with 6:20 to play in the opening quarter to give Black Hawk a 9-0 cushion.
Sophomore guard Cole McDonald got the Redbirds (0-1) on the board with a trey of his own at the 6:00 mark of the first quarter, and he went 4-for-4 at the foul line late in the period to keep the ‘Birds within six points of Black Hawk with less than a minute remaining in the opening stanza.
However, baskets by Brett Lovelace and Merik Meythaler in the closing seconds of the first quarter extended the Warriors’ lead to 19-9. Darlington would never get closer than seven the rest of the way.
Five players scored three points apiece for the Warriors in the second quarter to extend their lead to 36-21 at the half, and they were able to pull away for good in the fourth quarter despite shooting just 5-for-15 from the foul line in the final frame.
Foul shooting kept the Redbirds in the game in the first half as they shot 12-for-14 at the charity stripe over the first 16 minutes of play, including an 8-for-10 effort in the second stanza. The ‘Birds got to the line just six times in the second half, hitting five of them to finish 17-for-20 for the game.
McDonald went a perfect 12-for-12 at the foul line and finished with a game-high 23 points to lead the Redbirds in his first varsity start. Junior guard Cade Hardyman had a 3-pointer on his way to five points for the ‘Birds, while senior guard Dylan Nyffenegger accounted for all four of his points in the fourth quarter.
H. Butler scored eight of his team-high 12 points in the first half to pace the Warriors, and senior Coltin Piefer knocked down a pair of treys and tallied seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter for the hosts.
Peterson chipped in with 10 points in his varsity debut for the Warriors. Meythaler added eight points, S. Butler finished with seven and Cuyler Meier netted six to aid the victory.
Darlington returns to the court on Tuesday, Nov. 27, when they travel to Barneveld for another non-conference contest.
Black Hawk was supposed to host Potosi on Tuesday night as well, but that game was forced to move due to the Chieftains’ state run in the football playoffs. No make-up date was available at press time.
Next up, the Warriors will host Belmont on Thursday, Nov. 29, in a non-conference clash.
Darlington….. 9 12 13 7 - 41
Black Hawk… 19 17 12 14 - 62
Scoring Leaders: Darlington- Cole McDonald 23, Cade Hardyman 5, Dylan Nyffenegger 4, Cody Hardyman 2, Riley Ray 2, Riley Gallagher 2, Griffin Heinberg 1, Tanner Wiegel 1, Michael Ruf 1. Black Hawk- Heath Butler 12, Coltin Piefer 11, Tyler Peterson 10, Merik Meythaler 8, Seth Butler 7, Cuyler Meier 6, Noah Thompson 3, Cory Rupnow 3, Brett Lovelace 2.