VIROQUA — The Black River Falls High School boys basketball team not only has one of the area’s top players in Ethan Anderson, it has a championship.
The Tigers clinched the Coulee Conference title in convincing fashion as it rolled past Viroqua 91-43 on Feb. 22. Black River Falls finished with an 11-1 mark in the Coulee, and ended Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau’s eight-year run atop the conference. The Red Hawks finished second at 10-2.
It was the first Coulee title for the Black River Falls boys since 2009, and it came — in part — because of a 34-point performance from Anderson. Anderson had two 3-pointers and three dunks against the Blackhawks.
Elliot Bird added 19 points against Viroqua, while Bryce Seiber finished with 15.
Black River Falls, which has won 14 of its last 15 games and is 17-5 overall, opens WIAA Division 3 tournament play when it hosts Arcadia on Friday, March 3. The Tigers are the No. 2 seed, while Arcadia is the No. 7 seed.
Melrose-Mindoro 79, Eleva-Strum 50
MELROSE — Melrose-Mindoro, the Dairyland Large champions, settled this one in the first half when it built a 45-22 lead of the Feb. 22 regular-season game. Andrew Antony scored all 10 of his points in the first half for the Mustangs, while Andrew Scafe had eight of his 11 in the opening half. Jimmy Polenz also had a big first half, scoring eight of his 12.
Drew Blaken came up big in both halves and finished with a game-high 16 points for Melrose-Mindoro, which was 10 of 16 from the free-throw line.
Blair-Taylor 76, Gilmanton 60
BLAIR — The Wildcats opened WIAA Division 5 tournament play Feb. 27 with a convincing win over Gilmanton in a regional quarterfinal. Matt Waldera led Blair-Taylor (11-11) with a team-high 18 points, while Isaac Nerby added 16. Tyler Kirchner added 11 points for the Wildcats, who led 37-30 at the half. Blair-Taylor faces Eleva-Strum in the regional semifinal on March 2.
Blair-Taylor 70, Independence 65
BLAIR — Two 3-pointers from Isaac Nerby late in the game separated Blair-Taylor after the Wildcats held a 36-35 halftime lead in the Feb. 22 regular-season game.
Nerby, who finished with seven points, was helped by 11 second-half points from teammate Tyler Kirchner, who had a game-high 19 points.
Sam Killian and Isaac Pape each had 16 points for Independence (10-4, 6-3).