On Feb. 5, the Baldwin-Woodville boys basketball team outscored Ellsworth 44-19 in the second half, fueling its 16-point victory.
Eleven days later, the two teams met again in Baldwin, this time in the first round of the WIAA Division 2 regional.
This time, the Panthers turned the tables on the Blackhawks, with a strong second half, defeating B-W 62-52.
Ellsworth outscored Baldwin-Woodville 36-22 over the final 18 minutes.
A key story of the game was fouls. The Blackhawks were whistled for 23 fouls, resulting in Ellsworth going to the free throw line 32 times compared to BW’s eight.
Dylan Karau led the Blackhawks with 17 points, two assists and two blocked shots. Cam Thompson added 10 points and five rebounds. Eli Coenen chipped in with nine points and seven rebounds. Caleb Lokker finished with five points. Collin Fritts had four rebounds and three assists.
B-W finished 20-for-47 from the field (42.5 percent), but struggled from three-point range (23.8 percent).
Middle Border Conference co-player of the year Mason Anderson and Jack Janke scored 16 and 34 points respectively for the Panthers.
The Blackahwks finished 9-11. They will be saying goodbye to Karau, Ian Peterson, Isaiah Randall and Logan Fedie.
“From a season perspective, the Hawks displayed a significant amount of growth,” explained B-W coach Scott Benoy. “After opening the season with a very lopsided loss at Ellsworth, B-W continued to get better and became a very competitive team in a good league. Only three returning players had any varsity experience, so many young players had to step up and assume a role at the varsity level.”
Karau was the leading scorer at 14 points per game; followed by Thompson’s 10.8 Ofstie came in third at 9.9. Ofstie was the leading rebounder at 6.7. Karau came in second at four.
Benoy added the future is bright with four returning starters along with a successful junior varsity squad.