The Viroqua girls basketball team wrapped up a busy week, playing three games in four nights in a stretch of games Jan. 12-15 and despite playing some of their best basketball of the year, find themselves still searching for that elusive first win.
Viroqua vs. PdC Jan. 15
A combination of missing early shots and being out-rebounded put the Blackhawks in a 12-0 hole to start their home game versus Prairie du Chien (7-6 and 3-2 SWC). An improved team defensive effort and some scoring from Claire Anderson while cleaning up the offensive glass, fueled a 15-8 rally that cut the halftime deficit to 20-15.
The second half found the Hawks struggling from the field once again, the end result was a 43-26 defeat to the South West Conference visitors.
Anderson accounted for 18 of the team’s 25 points, connecting on 4-of-7 two-point field goal attempts and 3-of-8 from beyond the three-point arc for a combined 57 percent. The rest of the team, however, converted just 3-of-25 from the field, including 0-for-5 from three-point range.
Playing every minute of the game at the point guard position Claire Anderson added six rebounds and two steals, Lauren Brendel finished with seven rebounds, Madelyn Anderson grabbed four boards and Rebecca Schipper played solid defensively and chipped in with three points off the bench.
The teams broke even on the boards with each grabbing 23 rebounds, but Viroqua turned the ball over 16 times compared to the visiting Blackhawks’ seven miscues.
Viroqua at Mauston, Jan. 16
The next night found the Blackhawks on the road to Mauston, where a furious second-half comeback came up just short, in a difficult 52-50 loss to the Golden Eagles of the South Central Conference.
A sluggish start to the game on both ends of the court resulted in a 27-14 halftime deficit, but a few adjustments, adding full-court-pressure and a 2-3 zone. The changes ignited the second-half rally which saw the visitors grab a 38-37 lead at one point and the seesaw battle continued until the final moments of the game.
The Blackhawks secured a rebound on the defensive and pushed the ball up court with time running out. A pass to Claire Anderson resulted in contact by a Mauston player and whistles blew before the buzzer sounded.
A foul was called, but the referees pointed the wrong direction and in the confusion, rather than make the correction, they let time expire, with the home team escaping with the two-point win.
The Blackhawks had one of their best offensive performances of the year, converting on 12 of 22 from two-point range (55 percent) and 5-of-13 three-point tries (38 percent) for a combined 17-of-35 (49 percent. From the free-throw line the Blackhawks were 11-of-13 (79 percent).
Claire Anderson led the way with 17 points, going 7-for-7 from the free-throw line, Brooke Knutson had her best offensive performance of the year, scoring eight points, not missing a shot, going 2-for-2 for two-point range, 1-for-1 from behind the arc and 1-1 at the charity line. Brendel added seven points, Natalie Waldenberger six, Madelyn Anderson five and Josie Dobbs two points.
The Blackhawk defense did not have an answer for Mauston’s leading scorer Skyylar Breslia who finished with a game high 25 points.
Viroqua vs. Adams-Friendship, Jan. 18
Two nights later, the Blackhawks played host to Adams-Friendship, also from the South Central Conference. The Green Devils 1-3-1 zone defense caused problems for the Viroqua offense early on and the Hawks once again found themselves on the short end of a 28-19 halftime score.
The Hawks battled from behind after intermission, pulling to within four points on a couple of occasions, but it was too little too late in a 59-49 loss to the Green-Devils (5-12 and 2-3).
The Blackhawks out-rebounded the visitors 27-25, but did not provide enough offensive support for Claire Anderson, who finished with a career high 23 points, going 3-for-9 from two-point range, 4-of-11 from three-point land and 5-of -7 from the FT stripe. Brendel added six points and Madelyn Anderson chipped in with five.
Once again the Blackhawks defense could not corral another team’s hot shooter, with the Green Devils’ Belizia Rodriguez scoring a game-high 25 points on 12-of 17 shooting (70 percent).