CARSON BAKER

Fort Atkinson senior Carson Baker shoots over Milton’s Connor Opahl during Thursday’s Badger East Conference game. The Blackhawks lost, 62-38.

MILTON — The Fort Atkinson High School boys basketball team was riding high with a three-game winning streak heading into Thursday’s showdown with one of the top teams in the Badger East Conference. But that high was turned into a low following a 62-38 loss at the brand new Milton Fieldhouse.

The Blackhawks (5-6 overall) fell to 2-3 in the Badger East as the Red Hawks (10-2, 5-1) pulled away late in the first half and never looked back.

“We didn’t shoot well, we didn’t finish, we didn’t hit the free throws, we just lost confidence we built up,” said Fort Atkinson head coach Mike Hintz. “We self-destructed.”

Both teams didn’t have either of their top scorers most of the night, with Fort’s Drew Evans and Milton’s Jack Negus both getting into foul trouble in the first half.

Negus sat the bench the final 7 ½ minutes of the first half, but he watched his teammates take center stage, turning a one-point lead into a 28-17 halftime advantage.

“I think one of the issues that’s kind of been our Achilles’ heel the past two years is when Jack’s sat, what is our identity? Nothing against Jack, he’s our best player, we need to find a way to play without him,” said Milton head coach Alex Olson. “Tonight’s not the first time that’s happened; we’re so excited watching the other guys step up.”

“We didn’t have Evans on the floor either, so it was a horse apiece,” Hintz added.

Fort pulled to within 37-30 on senior Cade Cosson’s driving layup with exactly 11 minutes remaining. But from there Milton went on a 21-4 run, hitting a trio of 3-pointers during what turned out to be a third of the team’s triples on the night.

“The frustrating thing is we just did a lot of uncharacteristic things tonight,” said Hintz.

Senior Scott Buchta led the Blackhawks (5-6, 2-4), who had won their previous three games, with 10 points.

Junior Brogan McIntyre led Milton with 13 points, while Campion added 12 and senior Tommy Widner hit 11.

“It wasn’t just offense, it was defense … our defense in the second half limited their middle. It was phenomenal,” Olson said, who watched his team hold the Blackhawks to just 17 first-half points

The Blackhawks return to the court Tuesday traveling to Stoughton. The Badger East game tips off at 7:30 p.m.

MILTON 62, FORT ATKINSON 38

Fort Atkinson 17 21 — 38

Milton 28 34 — 62

Fort Atkinson (fg ft-fta pts) — Baker 3 0-0 6, E. Cosson 0 4-6 4, Buchta 4 1-3 10, Kucken 1 0-0 2, Hartwig 1 0-0 3, C. Cosson 1 0-2 2, Evans 2 0-0 4, Kees 3 0-1 7. Totals — 15 5-12 38.

Milton — Ay. Goll 2 3-3 8, Opahl 1 0-0 2, Campion 5 1-1 12, McIntyre 5 1-2 13, As. Goll 1 0-0 2, Jenson 1 0-0 2, Widner 4 0-0 11, Kavanaugh 4 1-2 9. Totals — 23 6-9 62.

3-point goals — FA 3 (Kees 1, Buchta 1, Hartwig 1); M 9 (McIntyre 3, Widener 3, Campion 2, Kavanaugh 1). Total fouls — FA 10; M 17. Fouled out — None.

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