On Saturday, 20 teams across Wisconsin punched their tickets to State next week at the Resch Center in Green Bay. From southern Wisconsin, several teams will be part of the field: Middleton, Beaver Dam, Monroe, Marshall, Black Hawk, and Fall River.
Middleton will represent the Madison area in Division 1, after defeating Sun Prairie 60-45. Division 2 will feature a pair of teams from the Badger Conference: Beaver Dam and Monroe. Defending Division 3 champion Marshall will return to the state championship event next week. No area teams from Division 4 will advance, as Belleville lost to top-ranked Aquinas. Division 5 will get a couple of schools in from southern Wisconsin: Black Hawk (more below) and Fall River.
The WIAA State Tournament is in Green Bay at the Resch Center March 7-9.
Division 5, Sectional 3 Final (at La Crosse Central): Black Hawk 70, Independence 39
With a return trip to state on the line, the Black Hawk Warriors' defense again left no doubt, drubbing the Independence Indees 70-39 on Saturday in a sectional final at La Crosse Central.
Natalie Leuzinger led Black Hawk out of the gates with 10 quick points in the first nine minutes of the first half, helping the Warriors to a 12-2 lead. Bailey Butler helped press the issue as well, with five points early on before Independence started to adjust to the Black Hawk press.
Independence brought in Ziyanna Conner off the bench, and she promptly responded with seven points before the 6:30 mark of the first half. Out of a quick timeout, the Indees had brought it within 29-15, and with a couple of big three-pointers by senior Brianna Truog, Independence seemed about ready to get back into the game. However, Black Hawk closed out the first half on a 16-1 run, led by 14 first-half points from Butler and 13 from Leuzinger.
Black Hawk extended on their 41-16 lead in the second half, forcing nearly three dozen turnovers and piling up the points as the game progressed. Leuzinger finished with a game-high 22 points, while Butler ended up with 19. The Warriors return to state, looking to earn a state title against a crowded Division 5 field that includes Clayton, Newman Catholic, and Fall River.
BLACK HAWK: 41|29=70
Black Hawk Scoring: Natalie Leuzinger 22, Bailey Butler 19, Hannah Butler 8, Kaylee Marty 7, Sydney Delzer 4, Kristen Knapp 4, Macie Stauffacher 3, Maddy Huschitt 3.
Independence Scoring: Ziyanna Conner 11, Brianna Truog 11, Lynnsey Tuschner 7, Nicole Filla 6, Daniella Warner 4.