Owen-Withee boys soaring through phenomenal season

The Blackhawks are 15-3 this year after finishing 12-14 last year
Published: Feb. 5, 2023 at 10:11 PM CST
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OWEN, Wis. (WSAW) - The Owen-Withee Blackhawks always recognized they were a team of potential. In fact, while battling through their season last year, the team knew they could set the bar high for themselves.

“Ever since last year was when we started talking about winning conference,” said senior Carter Klabon.

The Blackhawks finished 12-14 last year, falling in the regional round of the postseason. Taking inventory of how the season ended, they knew they had to have a strong offseason to meet their goals.

“We were always in the gym every chance we got,” said senior Logan Amaxher. “We were in a lot of summer leagues and stuff like that and some good team bonding, helping bring us together I guess.”

The results from the offseason work have been evident, as the team sits 15-3 overall and is fighting with Colby and Columbus Catholic for first in the Cloverbelt East. The Blackhawks also are currently ranked fifth in D-5.

“This year, I think we all stepped up as a team, wanting to go that extra level, working harder than we ever have before,” said senior Elliot Ackerman.

The Blackhawks haven’t won a conference crown since 2014. Taking the conference title is still a priority for the team, but they know they can shoot even higher as well.

“When we actually saw how we were winning, working as a team and everything, we have our eyes on state now,” said Klabon. “We still have our eyes on conference, but state’s number one.”

The game plan for the Blackhawks boils down to two steps; playing strong defense and remaining fluid on offense.

“Obviously defense turns into offense, but an inside-outside game with Logan inside and then Vincent Henke inside and then kicking it out for threes or drive opens some things up,” said Klabon. “So yeah, inside-outside, defense.”

The strong season in hoops adds to a winning year at Owen-Withee. The Blackhawks’ football team finished undefeated and conference champions. Adding a conference title in basketball would be extra sweet.

”I think it would be really cool,” said Ackerman. “I mean our football team just won conference as well so I mean, kind of back-to-back sports championships, so that’d be cool.”

The Blackhawks have five more regular season games before the postseason fires up Feb. 23. The finish line is in sight, but the team knows there’s still a lot of work left to do.

“We just need to keep working together,” said Amacher. “I mean when we play together as a team, we’re pretty much unstoppable.”

Owen-Withee returns to the court Tuesday on the road at Alma Center Lincoln.