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Lancaster boys topple first-place River Valley for first SWC win
Lancaster senior Jalen Schmitz drives to the basket during last Friday night's 6658 win over visiting River Valley. Schmitz finished the game with six points.

LANCASTER – For the first time in 13 seasons, a Lancaster varsity boys basketball team came out on the winning end of a Southwest Wisconsin Conference contest over the Blackhawks of River Valley, as coach Brian Knapp’s Flying Arrows picked up their first conference win of the season last Friday night with a 66-58 victory over visiting River Valley.

With the win, the Lancaster boys improved to 1-5 in SWC action and 9-6 overall, while River Valley fell to 4-2, 7-7.

For years the Blackhawks have had Lancaster’s number, winning the last 23 meetings over the Flying Arrows, who last beat River Valley on Feb. 7, 2005.

The first meeting of this season between the two teams ended with the Blackhawks squeaking out a 71-68 victory on Dec. 1, in Spring Green.

Friday night’s contest was close throughout the entire contest as well, but this time Lancaster pulled it out in the final two minutes.

“A win is always good, and to get a conference win is even better, especially to the team that was at the top of the conference and who Lancaster has not beat since the 2004-2005 season,” said coach Knapp. 

“It was refreshing for everyone to walk into the locker room and see huge smiles on all the kids’ faces. I hope it boosts their confidence,” Knapp added.

River Valley’s largest lead of the first half came at the 13:15 mark when they led 11-5, while Lancaster’s largest lead of the first half came with just 1:17 to play, when they held a 37-32 advantage.

The Blackhawks closed out the first half with a 4-0 run, and trailed just 37-36 at the half.

River Valley then opened the second half with a 13-6 scoring run to take a 49-43 lead with 10:39 to play in the game.

Over the next seven minutes, Lancaster used a 13-4 run of their own to take a 59-53 advantage with 3:36 showing on the clock.

The Blackhawks pulled to within 59-58 with 2:20 to play, but from that point on Lancaster made 7-of-10 free throw attempts to secure the win, while River Valley went 0-for-6 from the field, including 0-for-5 from 3-piont range.

Coming up big down the stretch was sophomore Dawson Bowen, who went 4-for-4 from the free throw line, while senior Nathan Timmerman was 3-for-4 and Evan Gates 2-for-2.

Senior Austin Mumm finished Friday night’s contest with a team-high 17 points to go along with eight rebounds, two assists and three steals.

Timmerman chipped in 15 points and eight boards, while Bowen added 15 points, going 6-of-8 from the free throw line.

Dishing out a team-high four assists to go along with six points was senior point guard Jalen Schmitz.

As a team, Lancaster made 23-of-41 (56%) field goal attempts, including 4-of-12 (33%) from 3-point range. They were 16-of-23 (70%) from the charity stripe compared to 4-of-9 (44%) for River Valley.

The Flying Arrows committed 11 turnovers to Valley’s nine, and pulled down 28 total rebounds to their opponent’s 22.

“The difference between the first time we played them was that they didn’t shoot the ball nearly as well,” Knapp said. “That was because we closed out better and got hands up on defense. We rebounded the basketball very good in the second half after giving up offensive rebounds in the first.”

This past Monday night in non-conference action, the Flying Arrows traveled to Fennimore, where the Golden Eagles (13-1) sent them home with an 83-74 loss.

Fennimore held as much as a nine-point lead in the first half, but Lancaster pulled to within six points before trailing at the half, 42-30.

Behind the outside shooting of Bowen and Gates, Lancaster pulled to within four points, 58-54, with just over six minutes to play, but the sharp shooting of Reid Larson and Kellen Kenney lengthened their lead later in the game.

Finishing with a team-high 25 points was Bowen, who made seven 3-pointers, while Gates finished with 17 points on five 3-pointers. Also finishing with 17 points was Timmerman, while Schmitz chipped in eight.

 This Friday night the Flying Arrows will travel to league-leading Platteville (5-1, 12-4), who beat Lancaster, 56-47, back on Dec. 8.

 “To finish out the second half of conference play, we are focusing on one game at a time and hopefully that will turn into wins and set us up for a good seed in our regional,” said coach Knapp.


Lancaster 66, River Valley 58

(from Friday, Jan. 19)

River Valley 36 22 - 58

Lancaster 37 29 - 66

River Valley - Sammy Rosenberg 6, Bailey Amble 12, taylor Knutson 2, Brett Nachreiner 16, Dylan Hahn 6, Ben Fortney 4, Connor Mickleson 12. Totals - 23 4-10 58.

Lancaster - Cole Kreul 4, Dawson Bowen 15, Evan Gates 4, Austin Mumm 15, Evan Straka 4, Jordan Reuter 3, Jalen Schmitz 6, Nathan Timmerman 15. Totals - 23 16-23 66.

3-point goals - RV: Rosenberg 2, Amble 4, Hahn 2; L: Bowen 1, Mumm 1, Reuter 1, Schmitz 1. Team fouls - RV 17, L 19. Fouled out - None.

Fennimore 83, Lancaster 74

(from Monday, Jan. 22)

Lancaster 30 44 - 74

Fennimore 42 41 - 83

Lancaster - Cole Kreul 3, Dawson Bowen 25, Evan Gates 17, Austin Mumm 2, Jordan Reuter 2, Jalen Schmitz 8, Nate Timmerman 17. Totals - 21 17-23 74.

Fennimore - Reid Larson 25, Adam Larson 9, Kellen Kenney 23, Liam Kenney 12, Cory Lenzendorf 2, Cole Needham 4, Dakota Govier 8. Totals - 31 15-21 83.

3-point goals - L: Kreul 1, Bowen 7, Gates 5, Schmitz 2; F: R. Larson 3, A. Larson 2, L. Kenney 1. Team fouls - L 19, F 18. Fouled out - L. Kenney (F).