BLACK RIVER FALLS — In a key Coulee Conference boys basketball matchup, it was Black River Falls High School’s defense — and Ethan Anderson — that made the difference Monday night, Jan. 15.
The Tigers rallied from a six-point halftime deficit, then used yet another strong all-around game from Anderson to turn back Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau 65-60.
It was the Tigers’ fifth consecutive victory, pushing Black River Falls’ record to 8-4 overall, 4-1 in the Coulee. G-E-T fell to 6-4, 4-2.
“I just think our kids really dug in and stopped giving in to some things. We started winning the loose ball battles and were not giving up second and third looks (at the basket) that we were giving up in the first half,” Black River Falls coach Dave Cowley said.
“We played a really good first half, too, it’s just the nerves got the best of us a couple of times. We have been waiting for this to happen. We have shown spurts of being really solid, but have had a hard time putting together a complete game.”
Anderson led scorers with 28 points, hitting eight field goals — including a pair of 3-pointers — and all six of his free-throw attempts. He wasn’t the only Tiger doing some damage, as Jacob Woods (13) and Elliott Bird (11) also reached double figures.
Chris Thompson led G-E-T with 20 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, while Blake Thiesse added 14.
It was just another big step in the growth of this team, Crowley said.
“Tonight (Monday) is the first time all year where we have put two halves together and had that refuse-to-lose attitude,” Cowley said.
“It is what you like to see you out of your seniors. They have not beaten a G-E-T team since sixth grade.
“They really were ready. They had a different look in their eyeballs tonight than they had had. There were a couple of moments early on they may have hesitated, but as the game wore on they realized that we belong here (with G-E-T).”