|3/16/2017 10:45:00 AM|
Eagles relentless in earning return trip to state
Barneveld's boys basketball team played their hearts out all season in their quest to return to the WIAA state tournament and go aftert the Division 5 title.
Those hearts were heavier Saturday at Watertown as they prepared to take on the Hilbert Wolves for the Sectional championship and rightly so. One of their teammates, sophomore starter Malcolm Reed had a family emergency. His mother was stricken as she entered the gym to watch the game and was taken to the Watertown Hospital for treatment. She was later med-flighted to Madison.
Malcolm elected to stay and play for the Eagles and his teammates responded with "whatever happens we have your back."
Reed settled in with the support of his teammates and the Eagles played perhaps their best game of the season, snuffing out the Wolves offense the second half with relentless defense and effort. The Eagles put 20 points between the two teams and earned a return trip to the WIAA State Tournament semi-finals. They will play Columbus Catholic at 10:45 Friday, about 20 minutes after Shullsburg takes on defending state champion McDonnell Central.
With Barneveld and Shullsburg both earning state berths that puts both the Six Rivers East and Six Rivers West conference champions on track to meet each other for the state title providing they can get past their private school opponents.
The Eagles knew the 25-1 Wolves, champions of the Big East with their lone loss to Sheboygan Lutheran, would be out to prove their sixth place state rankings was warranted. They knew they would have to shut down their strong inside game and force them to run their offense away from the basket.
The Wolves had some hot moments from long range. Of their 13 baskets for the game, nine of them were beyond the arc. Senior guard Kody Krueger and sophomore reserve guard Grant Propson both nailed three of them.
Five of Hilbert's treys came in the first half and four of them in a row erased a 14-9 Barneveld lead to create a tie at 21 with 5:24 to play in the opening 18 minutes.
The Eagles rolled to a 6-0 lead on a Matthew Myers three pointer, a driving layup by Reed and a free throw by Kauy Fargo, to get off to the start they had hoped for.
Reed went on to score seven more point the first half and his nine along with 10 by Lucas Evans helped the Eagles to a 29-25 halftime lead.
After Myers and Kody Krueger traded three pointers to start the second half it was all Eagles. A 16-7 run made it 48-36 after 12 minutes and a 14-10 run closed out the win. Barneveld finished with six of seven free throws as Fargo, Reed and Michael Zouski all were two for two.
The closing down the lane game plan worked to near perfection as 12 of Hilbert's 17 second half points came from threes.
Four of Barneveld's starters reached double figures. Reed and Myers both hit 13, Zouski got 11 and Evans 10. The fifth starter, Fargo, was right behind with eight.
Off the bench a Trey Laube three pointer and two baskets from close range by Jonas Ignatius kept runs alive.
Propson, a 6-2 sophomore, led the Wolves with 11 points and 6-3 senior Jack Halbach added 10.
"This one is pretty special," said Eagles coach Jim Myers who is sharing the trip to the Kohl Center with his senior son Matthew, the team's point guard and leading scorer.
About Hilbert Myers said the Eagles knew they could shoot and were 25-1 for a reason.
"They like to take it inside and the lowest total they had all year was 57. Holding them to 42 came from a lot of hard work," Myers added.
He added that getting off to a good start was a key to the win for the Eagles.
"We've not done that the last few games but tonight we came out and played hard from the start," Myers said. "I hope we can play like that for two more games. It is very rewarding for the boys to get back on the court at the Kohl Center."
SCORE BY HALVES
Barneveld 29 33 62
Hilbert 25 17 42
BARNEVELD 62: (fg-ft-tp) Myers 5-0-13, Fargo 2-4-8, Laube 1-0-3, Evans 4-2-10, Reed 5-3-13, Zouski 4-3-11, Slaney 0-0-0, Ignatius 2-0-4, Shatrawka 0-0-0. Roberts 0-0-0 Totals 33-12/17-62 Fouls-11
HILBERT 42: Lau 0-0-0, Koby Krueger 3-0-9, Konen 1-0-3, Kuhn 1-0-3, Gruett 0-0-0, Kaiser 0-0-0, Diedrich 0-0-0, Propson 3-2-11, Kyle Krueger 2-2-6, Simon 0-0-0, Halbach 3-3-10 Totals 13-7/9-42 Fouls-13
3 point goals:
Barneveld-Myers 3, Laube 1
Hilbert-Kody Krueger 3. Propson 3, Konen 1, Kuhn 1, Halbach 1
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