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Pecatonica boys will have hands full again


Pecatonica vs. Barneveld

7 p.m. Thursday at Middleton High School

BLANCHARDVILLE - Pecatonica boys basketball coach Matt Fink knows it will be a tall task for his team to knock off Barneveld on Thursday.

That's when Pecatonica (20-5) will play Six Rivers East Conference rival Barneveld (22-3) in a WIAA Division 5 sectional semifinal in Middleton.

Barneveld, ranked sixth in the Associated Press Division 5 state poll, has swept two games from the Vikings this year. The Golden Eagles rolled to a 55-36 win over Pecatonica Jan. 12 in Barneveld and knocked off the Vikings 72-48 Feb. 17 in Blanchardville. Pecatonica is coming off its first regional title since 2002 after hanging on to knock off Black Hawk 54-48.

Since Thursday presents a win-or-go-home situation with a sectional title game at stake, Fink expects it will bring out the best in his team.

"We understand how talented Barneveld is," Fink said. "This game will give us some matchup concerns."

Fink said the Vikings needed their role players to step up against Black Hawk. It will be more of the same expected Thursday.

One of the biggest obstacles the Vikings may have to overcome is attacking the Eagles' matchup 2-3 zone.

"They kind of disguise their look on it," Fink said. "They change their matchup zone depending on the strengths of their opponent. We will have to value the basketball and take care of the basketball. We will have to rebound because we can't give a team like that two or three shots."

Barneveld senior Matthew Myers, who is averaging 13.7 points per game, torched the Vikings by hitting six 3-pointers and scoring 29 points in the Eagles' most recent win over the Vikings in Blanchardville.

"We will really have to get out and guard Matthew Myers," Fink said. "He really hurt us in the last game."

The other top players for the Eagles are Mike Zouski (12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game) and Kauy Fargo (9.2 ppg).

Pecatonica senior A.J. Hendrickson, who will play basketball at Clarke University in Dubuque next year, has scored more than 2,000 career points. Hendrickson is averaging 24 points per game. He is the top scorer and playmaker for the Vikings. Hendrickson was the Six Rivers East Conference Player of the Year last season.

The other top scorers for the Vikings are sophomore Colten Schraepfer (12.1 ppg) and senior Logan Green (7.2 ppg).

"These kids are not done yet," he said. "We have at least one game and hopefully more left to play.

"It (regional championship and sectional berth) means a lot for this program, especially for this senior group. They have left their mark on this program."