Try 1 month for 99¢

They dug themselves out of a mighty hole Saturday. Then, they fell back in.

The Black Hawk girls basketball team battled back from a 12-point deficit to tie Bangor with 5 minutes, 36 seconds left in the WIAA Division 5 state championship game.

But the Warriors scored only two more points the rest of the way, eventually falling to the Cardinals 39-29 at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon.

Senior Emma Wittmershaus, a UW-Milwaukee recruit, had nine points and nine rebounds to help lead Bangor (26-3) to its second state title.

“This is honestly one of the best days of my life,” Wittmershaus said. “I think we can all agree on that. It’s crazy in the locker room right now and they have the right to feel that way.”

Shooting problems plagued the top-ranked Warriors (28-1) all day. Black Hawk made just 12 of 62 field-goal attempts.

“Obviously, the thing that stands out to everybody that was in that stadium – the shooting was an issue,” Black Hawk coach Mike Flanagan said. “After having a year when we shot the ball so well, we just didn’t get it done. I shouldn’t have opened my big trap when I said that we couldn’t shoot it worse than we did yesterday, because we obviously did.

“I don’t know what to attribute it to. Is it nerves? Is it the moment being a little bit more than we could handle? I know it wasn’t lack of preparation. I know it wasn’t taking anything for granted. Get those things off the table right away because that’s not these kids.

“We needed to hit some shots. To Bangor’s credit, they shot the ball well from the perimeter — something that throughout the course of the season hasn’t been as much their M.O. as it has been ours. It was their day and not ours.”

And although the Black Hawk defense forced Bangor into 28 turnovers, the Warriors (28-1) could turn that effort into only 10 points off turnovers.

“I think that when we were able to create the turnovers, we just weren’t able to capitalize,” Flanagan said. “We were doing the same stuff we were doing the whole year. I thought we were getting to the same spots we got all year. We just needed to pick up a couple fouls, and we didn’t get them. I feel like we created opportunities.

“Then the 3s we took from the perimeter a lot of them were in time and in rhythm and really, really open. Certainly, no worse looks than Bangor got. Their kids knocked them down and we left them unfinished.”

As a result of Black Hawk’s shooting troubles, Bangor (26-3) jumped to a 12-3 lead and maintained it until the Warriors scored nine straight points and tied the score, 27-27, on a 3-point basket by senior Brianna Hagen with 5:36 remaining.

Black Hawk made only one of its final 11 shots and committed four turnovers after that tie. And although Bangor shot only 9-for-19 from the free-throw line down the stretch (and 13 for 29 on the day), that was enough for the Cardinals to pull away for their first state championship since 1997.

“I thought our defense is really what kept us in the game,” Bangor coach Merlin Jones said. “We talked about dribble-drive from them – the kick outs … and closing hard and making the next girl attack. Our girls were moving their feet and pinching the dribble-drive. I thought we did a really nice job. We knew they were a perimeter shooting team. For the whole season they have been. To limit them to 3-for-31 on the 3-point line is phenomenal for us.”

Jones was ecstatic after his team earned the title.

“Yesterday was a little relief when I was sitting here yesterday and I heard the girls say they were very happy that we got back here and we did what we wanted to do to get a silver or gold ball and we’d be content either way,” Jones said. “But when I woke up this morning, I said, `We didn’t come here for a silver, we came here for gold.’ We got that done.”

The score broke the Division 5 record for lowest combined score in a championship game (Barneveld 38, Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 34 in 2014) and tied the Division 5 record for lowest score in any state game (Loyal 44, Bangor 27 in a semifinal last year).

Black Hawk’s cause took two further blows when the season’s two scoring leaders, sophomore Natalie Leuzinger and freshman Bailey Butler, fouled out during the late going.

Asked about the shooting woes, Leuzinger said: “The arena could have possibly been a factor. But we played yesterday so we knew what the arena was like. But we have games like this and it just happened to be in the state championship.” While the Cardinals shot only 10-for-27 (37 percent) from the field, they did go 6-for-11 (54.5 percent) from 3-point range.

Things got tense when Black Hawk rallied to tie the game at 27.

“I was a little nervous at that point, having the lead the whole game, kind of being comfortable with that,” Wittmershaus said. “When they go on a run, it’s like OK, let’s plop down on defense and get going here. `Score, stop, score’ is what I kept telling my team. You just have to keep pushing and play with our heart, and we did that.”

Bangor senior Jaclynn Freit had five points and 15 rebounds as the Cardinals held a 42-35 rebound advantage.

“With the boys football team winning and bringing home a gold trophy and now us, I think it shows that even though our school is very small that we can still do big things and bring home cool trophies to the community,” Freit said.

Black Hawk got eight points and seven rebounds from sophomore Hannah Butler, eight points from Bailey Butler and six points and eight rebounds from Leuzinger.

Black Hawk broke the Division 5 state tournament record for most steals in the tournament, with 19 on Friday and 13 today for a total of 32 (Assumption had 31 in 2015).

The Warriors came up one foul short of the Division 5 single-game team record of 27, set by Fall River against Assumption in 2016.

Bangor 20 19 — 39

Black Hawk 11 18 — 29

BANGOR — Jones 0-0 1-2 1, Freit 2-5 0-0 5, Wittmershaus 1-7 6-7 9, Lockington 0-4 0-6 0, Fortier 2-4 1-4 7, Nicolai 2-3 1-4 6, Hundt 1-1 1-2 4, Leonard 0-0 1-2 1, Oesterle 2-2 2-2 6, Brownell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 10-27 13-29 39.

BLACK HAWK — Hagen 1-4 0-0 3, Herbst 0-7 0-0 0, Leuzinger 2-5 1-2 6, H. Butler 3-16 1-2 8, Marty 0-3 0-0 0, Huschitt 2-9 0-0 4, B. Butler 4-15 0-0 8, Delzer 0-2 0-0 0, Stauffacher 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 12-62 2-4 29.

3-point goals — BAN 6-11 (Freit 1-2, Wittmershaus 1-1, Fortier 2-3, Nicolai 1-2, Hundt 1-1, Lockington 0-1, Brownell 0-1), BH 3-31 (Hagen 1-3, Leuzinger 1-2, H. Butler 1-7, B. Butler 0-7, Herbst 0-2, Huschitt 0-5, Marty 0-2, Delzer 0-2, Stauffacher 0-1). Rebounds — BAN 42 (Freit 15), BH 35 (Leuzinger 8). Assists — BAN 8 (Nicolai 3), BH 5 (Huschitt 2). Turnovers — BAN 28, BH 16. Steals — BAN 7 (Wittmershaus 3), BH 13 (Huschitt 4, H. Butler 3). Blocks — BAN 7 (Wittmershaus 3), BH 2. Total fouls — BAN 11, BH 26.

division 1

Appleton North 45, Mukwonago 32

Sydney Levy had 17 points and seven rebounds as the Lightning (26-2) opened the second half on a 16-2 run and held on to defeat the Indians (23-5) and win their second straight state title.

Kari Brekke scored 11 points for Appleton North, which shot 52.8 percent from the field.

Natalie Andersen scored 13 points to lead Mukwonago.

Mukwonago 17 15 — 32 Appleton North 23 22 — 45 MUKWONAGO — Pavietich 2-3 2-2 6, Andersen 6-14 0-0 13, Beyer 1-7 1-2 3, Lopez 4-11 0-0 8, Cera 0-5 1-2 1, Koresh 0-0 1-2 1, Stromberg 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 13-41 5-8 32.

APPLETON NORTH — Klitzke 1-3 0-0 2, Schabo 1-3 0-0 2, Brekke 5-8 0-0 11, Laux 2-4 0-0 5, Levy 7-14 2-2 17, Van Wyk 0-0 2-2 2, Erickson 1-1 0-2 2, Beecher 0-1 0-0 0, VanHandel 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 19-36 4-6 45.

3-point goals — M 1-14 (Andersen 1-4, Beyer 0-3, Cera 0-3, Lopez 0-4), AN 3-16 (Laux 1-2, Brekke 1-4, Levy 1-7, Klitzke 0-1, Schabo 0-1, Beecher 0-1). Rebounds — M 21 (Andersen 5), AN 27 (Levy 7). Assists — M 6 (Beyer 4), AN 12 (Klitzke, Laux 3). Turnovers — M 7, AN 10. Steals — M 5, AN 2. Blocks — M 1, AN 0. Total fouls — M 8, AN 11.

division 4

La Crosse Aquinas 68, Melrose-Mindoro 52

The Blugolds used a 17-0 run in the first half to take control and cruised to the win over the Mustangs (27-1) to cap an undefeated season with the first WIAA state championship in program history.

Kyah Steiner had 13 points and 14 rebounds for Aquinas (28-0).

Melrose-Mindoro 13 39 — 52 La Crosse Aquinas 28 40 — 68

MELROSE-MINDORO — Byom 1-7 2-2 4, Simmons 6-15 2-4 14, Lockington 4-6 4-5 12, Christopherson 3-13 1-6 8, Herzberg 1-9 0-2 3, S. Johnson 1-1 0-0 2, A. Johnson 1-1 0-0 2, Frey 3-8 1-1 7. Totals 20-60 10-20 52.

LA CROSSE AQUINAS — Peterson 4-10 5-6 13, Donarski 3-13 5-6 11, Collins 5-13 3-6 13, Steiner 6-13 1-2 13, Becker 4-8 3-3 11, Theusch 3-4 0-0 7, McCoy 0-2 0-0 0, Bahr 0-1 0-2 0, Rezin 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 25-68 17-25 68.

3-point goals — MM 2-12 (Herzberg 1-4, Christopherson 1-4, Byom 0-2, Frey 0-2), LCA 1-20 (Theusch 1-2, Bahr 0-1, Collins 0-1, Steiner 0-2, McCoy 0-2, Donarski 0-3, Rezin 0-3, Peterson 0-6). Rebounds — MM 46 (Simmons 11), LCA 48 (Steiner 14). Assists — MM 8, LCA 15 (Donarski 7). Turnovers — MM 25, LCA 16. Steals — MM 10 (Lockington, Herzberg 3), LCA 19 (Steiner 5). Blocks — MM 5 (Byom, Simmons 2), LCA 2. Total fouls — MM 20, LCA 18.

0
0
0
0
0