The Black River Falls boys basketball team came into their game with Viroqua Thursday, Feb. 22, with a chance to clinch an out-right Coulee Conference championship and the Tigers left little to doubt, downing the Blackhawks 91-43.
The Tigers (17-5) roared to a 57-24 halftime lead and coasted to their 14th win in the last 15 games and finished the conference season with an 11-1 record, ending G-E-T’s eight-year reign as Coulee Conference champions.
It was the Ethan Anderson show for most of the night, as the high-scoring BRF senior wowed the crowd at the VHS gymnasium scoring 34 points. Included in Anderson’s scoring outburst was a trio of dunks, featuring the last, as he led a fast break tossing the ball off the backboard, grabbing the ricochet himself end ending the play with a rim-rocker. The eye-opening play occurred with 8:40 left in the game, giving the Tigers a commanding 85-29 lead. It should be noted that Anderson, a University of Minnesota Duluth recruit, was given a seat on the BRF bench after the play and remained there for the rest of the game.
VHS coach Joel Anderson chose to honor the Blackhawks four seniors, starting Nathan Tunks, Ben Tunks, Steve Diehl and Brett Skrede. Junior Andrew Wedwick joined the senior quartet for the first six minutes of the game, while the Tiger vaulted to an 18-6 lead.
Coach Anderson, sticking with his philosophy of honoring earned playing time to his veteran senior players, stayed with the same starting lineup after intermission; the only exception was the insertion of junior Mason Skrede at point guard, in place of Wedwick.
Eleven different players hit the scoring column for the Blackhawks, led by Anthony Rappl with 7, Ben Tunks and Dawson Swenson and Mason Skrede 5 each, Brett Skrede and Wedwick 4 apiece, Christian Schneider, Jared Anderson and Clayton Slack 3 points, and Sam Jett and Diehl 2 each.
Elliot Byrd with 19 points, Bryce Seiber 15 and Isaac Cowles 10, joined Ethan Anderson in the well-balanced BRF attack.