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Warriors roll to win
Black Hawks Heath Butler pulls up for a shot in the paint over Cassvilles Brad Klein during a game Tuesday in South Wayne. Black Hawk defeated Cassville 46-31. (Times photo: Anthony Wahl)
SOUTH WAYNE - Black Hawk boys basketball coach Charlie Anderson tracks points per possession that the Warriors score in scrimmages during practice.

It's all about being efficient on each possession. Black Hawk showcased an efficiency not often seen in a season opener rolling to a 46-31 win over Cassville Tuesday. Black Hawk senior Heath Butler scored a game-high 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Senior teammate Troy Wellnitz scored 12 points and senior Shawn Woodruff added nine points and had nine rebounds to lead the Warriors.

"In the first half, I was really happy with our offensive efficiency," Anderson said. "It seemed like we had a good look every possession. In order for us to win this year we have to get the ball inside."

The Warriors executed the offensive gameplan to a tee. The Warriors went on an 15-6 run in the second quarter to open up an 11-point lead. The spurt was highlighted by Woodruff's 3-pointer and a basket down low by senior Blaine Wolff. Butler scored down low and Wellnitz knocked down a jumper late in the second quarter to give the Warriors a 29-18 lead at the half.

"To win the first game is always big," Butler said. "It builds confidence. It's a big step we had to get tonight. We are pumped up for Thursday when we go to Highland."

Black Hawk junior Tayler Rupnow scored on a layup midway through the third quarter to give the Warriors a 37-23 lead. Butler drilled a 3-pointer from the wing and Wellnitz scored on a layup to extend the lead to 44-24. Black Hawk led by as many as 22 points in the second half after Wellnitz scored on a layup early in the fourth quarter.

Anderson liked the way Wellnitz and Woodruff stepped up as scorers in the opener.

"I don't think you can solely rely on just one person to score," Anderson said. "Tonight was Troy's night. He did a good job of cutting and slashing and finding the open gaps."

Woodruff gave the Warriors several second-chance opportunities with five of his nine rebounds on the offensive end.

"We ask Shawn to do a lot guarding the other team's best player and running the point," Anderson said. "He's asked to do a lot and he does a good job."

The Warriors limited the Comets to just five field goals in the second half and 25 percent shooting (5 of 20).

Butler and Woodruff are both returning starters for the Warriors who showed no problems mixing in three new starters and several new players off the bench.

"Shawn and me have to step up this year," Butler said. "We are confident in the teammates we have. Defense is the focus. We played pretty sound defense in the second half. We had some shut-outs on some possessions in the second half. Everything came together tonight. We moved the ball and did a good job of finishing down low."

Anderson was relieved to get everyone on the team playing time in the first game.

"We were able to get every kid rid of those first-game jitters," he said. "I was happy to get that out of the way for everybody."