by Coach Russ Weiler
The Blackhawks' season unfortunately came to an end Saturday night in the Regional finals at Chippewa Falls McDonell against the Dons by a final score of 71-50. The final score however doesn't show how close of a game it was as McDonell was able to pull away in the last four minutes of the game for the victory.
The Blackhawks came ready and focused to handle the Macs full court press and were patient on working the ball offensively for the best shot. Carter Klabon scored on the first possession off a nice pass from Caleb Geldernick to put the score at 2-0. Tyler Weaver would later knock in a fifteen-foot shot of his own making it 4-3.
The teams battled on both ends as Klabon hit a baseline jumper followed by a Weaver three off a Stinson pass, giving the Hawks a 9-8 advantage. The lead would continue to go back and forth, as Geldernick got a putback and hit a pair of free throws later to make it 15-13 in favor of the Hawks. More defense from both teams as McDonell would retake the lead but a nice drive and dump by Senior Aaron Ovyn to Logan Amacher got the Hawks within one at 18-17. McDonell would go on a run to end the half, another Weaver 3 helped keep the Hawks close 26-20. Weaver would then hit Klabon for two making it 26-22, but the Macs scored four straight to end the half putting it at 30-22 at halftime.
The Macs came out on a 6-0 run, increasing the lead to twelve, but a Stinson hard put back got the Hawks offense back. Klabon would then follow that hoop with a three off a Geldernick pass making the score 38-27. Later another Klabon three from an inside-out Amacher pass, followed by a Stinson three put the score at 44-34. Stinson would then battle for a rebound score to continue to keep the Hawks close. Amacher then hit Geldernick on a quick fastbreak for two, and after Amacher hit a pair of free throws making the score 49-40 with eight minutes left. Geldernick scored again off the McDonell press, keeping it close. The Macs would close the game out with a few key shots and free throws forcing the Blackhawks to foul in order to have a chance for a comeback. The Blackhawks weren't able to muster a comeback as their season ended with a 71-50 loss.
Box Score: Klabon 12 pts, Geldernick 11 pts, 11 rebs, 2 asts, Amacher 9 pts, 10 rebs, 2 asts, Weaver 8 pts, 2 rebs, 2 asts, Stinson 7 pts, 5 rebs, 3 asts, Gutowski 3 pts, Ovyn 3 rebs, 1 ast, Ackerman 1 asts, Wendler 1 reb.
The guys played hard like they always do. They were truly determined and focused as the McDonell press didn't affect us, as we only had two turnovers versus their press the entire game. We were patient on offense and we got some nice wide open shots, they didn't all fall but we were able to get good looks.
I'm proud of this team, as we improved a lot from last year as we only won four games last season. efore tonight, we won 8 of our last 10, as we continually improved as the season went on. One of the strengths is the team chemistry, and that is a credit to the players for putting any egos aside and playing for each other.
Thank you to our only senior, Aaron Ovyn, he has been on varsity for over three years and has been dedicated all the way to the end. He has seen the highs of a solid team as a freshman and the rebuild of the last 2-3 years and has stayed with it. He is well liked and respected by his teammates, which says all you need to know.
Thanks to the fans that came to support us, and the ones that watched us on the livestream, we hope to pack the gym next season and get back to normal. To the parents, thank you for your patience throughout the season, through the schedule changes, ticket lists, etc... Thanks to all the businesses, administration, Mr. Gutsch (our AD), Sara Blume, youth coaches, for helping our program throughout the year. To the players that endured every night at practice and games of having to wear the masks in order to play basketball, that shows dedication, as kudos to all of you for doing it for all of our entertainment and enduring people that said the negative things if your mask slipped down once, thanks for rising above the negativity. That shows character!
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