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IowaGrant claims SWAL crown
Panthers beat Darlington to win programs first conference title since 199495 season
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Senior Brayden Johnson scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead IowaGrant to a 5448 victory over Darlington on Friday night. The Panthers clinched their first SWAL title since 1995 with the win.

     DARLINGTON — It’s been a long time coming, 21 years to be exact. The Iowa–Grant boys basketball team clinched at least a share of its first conference title since 1995 with a 61–53 victory over visiting Fennimore last Tuesday.

     The Panthers then claimed the outright Southwestern Wisconsin Activities League crown with a 54–48 come-from-behind victory at Darlington on Friday.

     Senior Brayden Johnson scored a game-high 17 points, including nine in a tide-turning second-half run that sparked the I–G comeback, and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Panthers to victory.

    Fellow senior Isaac Anderson finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and six blocks. Junior Collin Price did his part with 11 points and six rebounds, and sophomore guard Caleb Hill added 10 points and three assists. He also made 4 of 6 from the free throw line in the closing minutes to secure the win.

     “We are very proud about winning a very tough SWAL conference,” said Iowa–Grant head coach Toby Tripalin. “These young men have worked diligently for many years and understand what dedication, determination, composure and working extremely hard for your goals is all about.”

     Iowa–Grant (20–1, 13–0 SWAL) scored the game’s first nine points, but Darlington (15–5, 10–3) closed the half on an 18–6 run to take a 22–20 lead to the locker room after a back-and-forth first half.

     Darlington led by four early in the half after a basketball by Will Schwartz, but I–G used a 24–9 run to take a 44–33 lead.

     Hill drilled back-to-back three-pointers after Anderson was called for a charge with 13:31 left in the game, to give the Panthers a 28–22 lead and jumpstart the run.

     Johnson then scored 12 points in a seven minute stretch. He made a 3-pointer, converted a three-point play, then made back-to-back triples to give the Panthers an 11-point lead with 4:42 remaining.

     Darlington scored five straight points to pull within six at 44–38 with just under two minutes to play, but from there

     Iowa–Grant made 10 of 14 from the free throw line in the final 1:52 to close out the win. Johnson and Price each went three of four from the stripe over that span.

     Last Tuesday, Anderson scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Panthers to an eight-point win over Fennimore (7–13, 3–9 SWAL). Johnson added 17 points, five rebounds, and three steals.

     Iowa–Grant will close out the regular season Thursday night at home against Mineral Point (8–11).

     The Panthers earned the top-seed in their 12-team half of the Baraboo sectional and will have a first-round bye when the playoffs begin next Tuesday. They will then host either eighth-seeded Belleville (7–14) or ninth-seeded Lancaster (5–16) Friday March 4 at 7 p.m.

Iowa–Grant 61, Fennimore 53
(from Tuesday, Feb. 16 @ Livingston)
Fennimore       30    23     —  53 
Iowa–Grant     25    36     —  61
Fennimore (7–13, 3–9) — Colten Henkel 6, Reid Larson 8, Liam Kinney 13, Brett Needham 16, Brett Stack 6, M. Henkel 4. Totals — 22 4-7 53.
Iowa–Grant (19–1, 12–0) — Jack Reeves 2, Brayden Johnson 17, Isaac Anderson 25, Caleb Hill 7, Collin Price 8. Totals — 20 16-26 61.
3-point goals — F: 5 (Larson 2, Kinny 1, Needham 2); IG: 5 (Johnson 4, Hill 1). Team fouls — F: 22, IG: 10. Fouled out — F: Needham.

Iowa–Grant 54, Darlington 48
(from Friday, Feb. 19 @ Darlington)
Iowa–Grant     20    34     —  54
Darlington       22    26     —  48 
Iowa–Grant (20–1, 13–0) — Brayden Johnson 17, Isaac Anderson 12, Caleb Hill 10, Collin Price 13, Sawyer Stuckey 2. Totals — 16 16-24 54.
Darlington (15–5, 10–3) — Will Schwartz 8, Ryan Glendenning 7, Trevor Johnson 6, Tony Ruesga 2, Josh Soper 22, Chad Golackson 3. Totals — 22 2-3 48.
3-point goals — IG: 6 (Johnson 3, Hill 2, Anderson 1); D: 2 (Glendenning 1, Golackson 1). Team fouls — IG: 13, D: 21. Fouled out — D: Golackson.