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February 17, 2019

1/28/2019 10:56:00 AM
Eagles take over top spot

In what was a Thursday night battle for sole possession of first place in the standings within the Six Rivers Conference's Eastern Division, coach Tyler Sullivan's Barneveld Golden Eagles prevailed in Blanchardville, topping Pecatonica 64-57 in boys' basketball action.
Barneveld's 6'5" Malcolm Reed, a hard-driving senior who can 'sky' under the hoop as a post player and yet, who, additionally, can bring the ball upcourt in heavy traffic as a playmaking guard, led the way with a 20 point performance. His Eagles' teammates, Trey Gordon and Dayne Evans, added 16 and 13 points respectively.
Evans, a 6'2" senior, drew the praise of his mentor following the contest, for having nailed five of six free throw attempts in the closing minutes, when the Vikings were picking up fouls in hopes of extending the clock and battling back.
Eagles Seth Sullivan and Jack Thompson rounded out scoring for Barneveld with eight and seven points, respectively, on a night just five players scored - but the Eagles' quintet proved to be more than enough in securing the 'W'.
For Pecatonica it was the senior duo of Jaden Hendrickson (16 points) and Colton Schraepfer (15 points) that led the way for Matt Fink's Vikings - along with 13 and 11 points respectively, from fellow senior classmates and teammates Carter Ruegsegger and Zack Eaton.
Out of the gate, both teams shot poorly in the early going and in front of a near capacity crowd,- although the Eagles opened up a quick 8-0 lead.
"We began by shooting two-for-twenty-something, 2 for 27 is what I was told," lamented a disappointed Fink, following the loss. "That was unreal. You gotta be able to make shots and be ready to play from the opening tip and we weren't either of those at the start tonight. We also didn't guard well early - maybe we should have gone zone from the beginning. I credit our guys with the shots they did hit later, toward the close of the first half, and when we came out after halftime, we made several early second half shots and took the lead. The lead switched hands a few times during that stretch and I felt we were a stop or two away from some serious momentum. But, credit Barneveld. They countered and we just couldn't get enough stops - we couldn't keep Gordon nor Sullivan from getting to the basket," added Fink. "We need to guard better - but I was also proud of how hard we battled. We just didn't convert, especially early on - in getting to the rim and finishing, plus, our shot selection early could have also been better. We need to learn from it - and frankly, Barneveld played exceptionally well tonight."
When Reed scored on a sweeping drive and hoop in the lane at the 13:27 mark of the first half, followed by a deep corner 'trey' from Evans, the Eagles' 12-2 lead caused the Pec bench to call for a timeout and to regroup. Fink switched players from a 'man' defense to what proved to be a more effective zone and after trailing 21-9, the Pec players began to get on track with their shooting. Hendrickson nailed a trey from the top of the key, Schraepfer added a pair of free throws and two more Schraepfer hoops pulled Pec to a seven point (25-18) deficit. Hendrickson then connected on a trey with four seconds left in the half, pulling Pec to within four points (25-21) at intermission.
After Eaton scored on a ten-footer in the lane to open Pec's second half scoring, Ruegsegger added a three-pointer at the 16:10 mark, giving Pecatonica players their first lead of the night at 26-25.
The advantage was short-lived, when Gordon connected on a running one-hander from 13 feet away, and Seth Sullivan followed by scoring on a reverse layup.
Eaton countered with two hoops in the lane for the Vikes and Gordon came right back again, this time on a running one-hander, giving the Eagles a 33-32 lead. From there Barneveld players went on an 8-0 run, fueled, in part, by a pair of Reed free throws, a Reed' layup following a Barneveld steal, Gordon's shovel-shot from 13 and Evans' trey from the wing, for a 44-38 lead.
Pecatonica countered and quickly with another of Jaden Hendrickson's four three-pointers.
A 13 footer in the lane by Sullivan and Thompson's basket from under the hoop (via an impressive assist by Reed) was followed by Reed's two charity throws, putting Barneveld on top by 11 at 50-39.
Free throws by Eaton and Ruegsegger followed and Ruegsegger's trey at the 4:12 mark pulled Fink's team back to within four points at 50-46, but it was as close as Pec would get. The Eagles next went on an 8-4 run, and still later, added five free throws in the final minute to post the 64-57 win.
Hendrickson scored on a rebound, put-back, hoop and Ruegsegger hit another trey in the closing half minute, but it was a case of too little, too late - in a second half in which Pecatonica defenders allowed 39 Barneveld points.
"We had talked about getting off to a fast start and I felt we moved the ball around well against their man-to-man defense, initially, and then also later, against the zone," said Barneveld's coach Sullivan, following his team's road victory. "I thought there were times when we were a little too content to settle on shooting three-pointers. For example, when Pec made their run. We were three of 11 on three point attempts in the first half. But, we were one of two in the second half on three pointers. That shows how we concentrated on working the ball inside and that worked in our favor tonight," added Sullivan.
"Malcolm played really well and Trey Gordon has really stepped up these past six or seven games - and that scoring of his really helped. He brings a lot of energy and obviously Dayne Evans, a senior, making big free throws down the stretch was also important tonight."
The Six Rivers' boys have 'crossover' games Friday, (Jan. 25) at 7:30 p.m. and with an ultra-quick turnaround, the Eagles are also at Prairie du Chien 17 hours later, (Sat., Jan. 26), in a matinee at 2:30 p.m. The Eagles (8-5, 6-1) also play at Argyle High School Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Also in future hoops contests, Pecatonica (10-4, 5-2) hosts Black Hawk Thursday, Jan. 31 and hosts Madison Abundant Life High School Sat., Feb. 2, in at 2:30 p.m. matinee game originally slated for Sat., Jan. 19 but which was postponed by a rash of illness at Abundant Life High School.
Barneveld 25 39 - 64
Pecatonica 21 36 - 57
Barneveld (ft-ft-tp) Reed 7-6-20, Gordon 7-0-16, Thompson 3-1-7, Se. Sullivan 4-0-8, Evans 2-7-13. Three-pointers: Gordon 2, Evans 2. Totals: 19 (4) 14-20 64. Fouls: 17.
Pecatonica (fg-ft-tp) Schraepfer 5-5-15, J. Hendrickson 5-2-16, Eaton 4-3-11, Johnson 1-0-2, Ruegsegger 4-1-13. Three-pointers: Ruegsegger 4, Hendrickson 4. Totals: 11 (8) 11-16 57. Fouls: 15.
Jayvees: Barneveld won 50-22.

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