Brooke Knutson

Viroqua's Brooke Knutson makes her way down the court in a home game against Sparta, Friday, Dec. 8.

Eric Wuennenberg, Performance Photo

The Viroqua girls basketball team continues to seek that elusive first win of the season as they dropped a pair of non-conference games last week.

Viroqua vs. Hillsboro

Viroqua held a 14-13 lead midway through the first half, but early foul trouble and a pressing defense by host Hillsboro spelled trouble, Tuesday, Dec. 5. The Blackhawks struggled to find any offensive rhythm, scoring just 12 points the rest of the way, falling to the Tigers 48-25.

“This was a game I was looking forward to for our team,” said coach Joe Willis. “I felt if we played 36 minutes of good team ball, that we would have a shot to win at the end. Early foul trouble and a press forced our hand to make some substitutions that simplified what we could do on offense…then some turnovers got the best of us.”

“The second half found us again in foul trouble…we got some real good looks after making some offensive adjustments, but couldn’t make shots the way we did early in the first half…our offense really struggled in the second half,” Willis said. “I thought we played better as a team for a while, but we need to have everyone firing on all cylinders to give ourselves a shot in these games. I remain optimistic that we will get it turned around and continue to improve.”

Claire Anderson led the Hawks with 13 points, connecting on 5 of 10 two-point shots, but hit only 1-of-9 three-point tries. Natalie Waldenberger grabbed a team high 10 rebounds, five each on the offensive and defensive glass.

Hillsboro stayed undefeated after five games this season while the Blackhawks still their first win of the year.

Viroqua vs. Sparta

The Lady Hawks hosted Sparta in the first game of a girls-boys doubleheader at the VHS gym, Friday, Dec. 8, coming up on the short end of a 45-26 final.

“The story of the game was shooting percentage,” Willis said. “We were unable to convert some really good open looks…we got to the free-throw line but didn’t convert when we could have kept the game close. We had one more shot than Sparta tonight, but we couldn’t get the lid off of the bucket.”

The percentages bare out what Willis stated, with Viroqua connecting on just 9 of 48 shots from the field (18.8 percent) and were just 7 of 21 from the charity line (33 percent). The Spartans, meanwhile, converted on 14 of 19 free-throw attempts (74 percent) and were 14 of 47 from the field (30 percent), including 3 out of 4 from three-point range.

Claire Anderson led VHS in scoring with 10 points, Madelyn Anderson added 8, Brooke Knutson 4 and Lauren Brendel 3. Taylor Cowden and Brendel were the top rebounders with 4 each. The Spartans controlled the boards collecting 34 team rebounds, including 26 on the defensive glass compared to Viroqua’s 16 total, 13 of which were defensive.

“I was proud of the effort,” Willis said. “As a team everyone worked together to look for openings. Defensively we got better too and played good man-to-man defense. We played at a good pace and passed well through some initial pressure…we definitely made some improvements…that really limited our turnovers tonight.”

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