A pair of good first half performances by the Viroqua boys basketball team last week were short-circuited in the second half of each, resulting in a pair of non-conference losses.
Viroqua vs. River Valley The Blackhawks (0-2) trailed River Valley (1-1) by a slim 26-23 score, but were outscored 29-17 after intermission, dropping a 55-40 decision to the visitors from the South West Athletic Conference, Tuesday, Nov. 28.
Junior Anthony Rappl led Viroqua with a career high 16 points, Sam Jett added 8, Steve Diehl 6, Ben Tunks 4 and Jared Anderson and Andrew Wedwick rounded out the VHS scoring with 3 points each.
Viroqua vs. Hillsboro
The Blackhawks found themselves in a seesaw battle on the road at Hillsboro Friday, Dec. 1, in game that featured nine lead changes and four ties in the first half, resulting in a 29-29 tie at intermission.
The Tigers finally pulled away in the latter stages of the second half, outscoring the visitors 34-26 in the final 18 minutes, defeating the Blackhawks 63-55.
The Blackhawks utilized a full court pressing defense for the balance of the game creating 12 first half turnovers by the Tigers and 7 in the second half. The downside of the pressure defense however, were the number of fouls whistled against the Blackhawks, a whopping 28 for the game, including 17 in the second half. The difference in the final score came at the free-throw line where the Tigers converted on 17 of 33 charity tosses, while the Hawks connected on just 4 of 13 attempts.
The Blackhawks battled back from a 7-point second half deficit mainly on the strength of an outstanding defensive effort from Diehl. With the Hawks trailing 42-35, the senior forward came up with three consecutive steals, resulting in a pair of baskets by Wedwick and one by Christian Schneider, to cut the lead to 42-41 with about seven minutes remaining in the game.
The two teams exchanged baskets over the three minutes, but the Blackhawks never could regain the lead. Diehl fouled out of the contest with 3:15 left with the Hawks trailing 50-48, from there the Tigers outscored the visitors 13 to 7 to win going away.
The loss spoiled an impressive career-high 26-point effort by Wedwick. Schneider chipped in with 9 points, Diehl added 7 and Rappl 6. Six-foot five-inch junior center Lee Richardson led Hillsboro with 20 points.