GAME OF THE WEEK (March 8–14)
BOYS BASKETBALL: WIAA Sectional Playoffs
This Week’s Other Area Conference Games
Division 3: #1 Platteville (19–5) vs. #2 Edgerton (19–5), at Oregon, Thursday, 7 p.m., (Extreme 107.1 FM)
Platteville hammered Southwest Wisconsin Conference rival 57–39 in Saturday’s night’s WIAA Division 3 regional final. Senior forward Donovan Blevins became the fourth player in program history to surpass the 1,000-point mark for his career with a turnaround hook shot late in Saturday’s blowout.
It was the second straight regional title for the top-ranked Hillmen, who also won the program’s first conference title since 1996–97 this winter.
Platteville advances to face Edgerton, in a WIAA D3 sectional semifinal Thursday night at Oregon at 7 p.m. The Crimson Tide (19–5) won its regional title with a 61–48 victory over Lodi Saturday night. Edgerton, which tied for second in the Rock Valley South, is a defensive minded-team similar to Platteville that is allowing just 51.7 points per game. Senior guard/forward Jacob Fox averages 15.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game to lead the Tide.
“Edgerton is a really well-coached, disciplined basketball team,” said Huser. “They have similar personnel to our team and with the style of play they execute we will have to be at our best. They have an outstanding record and have been consistent all season. In looking at the match up, it would appear to be very even as would be expected this time of year. It is exciting to be going back to the sectionals and being able to continue to participate in the WIAA tournament this deep into March.”
Blevins leads the Hillmen in both scoring (16.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg). Junior point guard Cade Rohrbach averaged 10.4 points and 3.4 assists per game.
Platteville’s season ended in the D3 sectional semifinals a year ago with a 45–43 loss to Adams–Friendship.
Division 4: #1 Mineral Point (19–4) vs. #6 La Crosse Aquinas (13–12) at Richland Center, Wednesday, 7 p.m., WGLR (97.7 FM)
SWAL champion Mineral Point defeated 8-seed Necedah, 64–52 last Friday, then steamrolled conference rival Darlington 75–50 in Saturday night’s WIAA Division 4 regional final. Sophomore point guard Isaac Lindsey poured in a game-high 26 points, freshman Brayden Dailey added 24 and the Pointers cruised after building a 42–23 halftime lead.
Point will face tournament Cindarella, sixth-seed La Crosse Aquinas tonight at 7 p.m. Aquians beat 11-seed Coulee Christian 71–54, 3-seed Wisconsin Heights 73–67, and 7-seed Onalaska Luther 57–37 to win its regional after a 10–12 regular season, which ended with a six-game losing streak. The Blugolds finished sixth in the Mississippi Valley Conference, playing against Division 1 teams like La Crosse Central and Onalaska, which will square off in a Division 1 Sectional Semifinal Thursday night.
Conley Malone (17.2 ppg), Brandon Merfeld (17.2 ppg) and Randy Jacobson (12.3) all average double figures for Aquinas.
Division 5: #1 Seneca (22–2) vs. #7 Southwestern (13–12), at Mineral Point, Thursday, 7 p.m., WGLR (97.7 FM)
Southwestern earned a spot in Thursday’s Division 5 sectional semifinals with a dramatic 60–59 buzzer-beating victory over 2-seed Potosi Friday night, then a holding 3-seed De Soto scoreless the final 3:30 in a 47–44 comeback victory in Saturday night’s regional final. The Wildcats will now battle top-seeded Seneca, the champion of the Ridge & Valley Conference. Dylan Rieken (11 ppg), Shaun Cooper (8.8 ppg) and Grant Jochum (8.2 ppg), Friday’s hero, lead Southwestern in scoring. After Potosi missed a pair of free throws with eight seconds left, Jochum drilled the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Indians (22–2) are led by senior Noah Allen (19.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.1 apg) and junior Jared Payne (16.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 7.4 apg). Seneca beat conference rival Wauzeka–Steuben 61–51 Saturday night to win a third straight regional title.
GIRLS BASKETBALL: WIAA State Tournament
Division 5: #1 Black Hawk (27–0) vs. #9 Wausau Newman Catholic (21–6)
Black Hawk will be making their first state appearance since their three-year run from 2009 to 2011 and, after receiving the top-seed in D5, the Warriors will face a familiar foe in #4-seeded and #9-ranked Newman Catholic (21–6) at Green Bay’s Resch Center on Friday, at 9:05 a.m.
The Fighting Cardinals had their way with Black Hawk in their last two state trips, defeating the Warriors, 64–30, in a D4 state championship game in 2010 and knocking off the Warriors, 64–40, in a state semifinal game in 2011 en route to a D5 state title. Newman Catholic is making its 10th state appearance and first since 2013.
Friday’s winner will advance to the D5 championship game on Saturday at 11:05 a.m. to face the winner of Friday’s other D5 semifinal game between #2-seeded and #3-ranked Bangor (24–3) and #3-seeded and #6-ranked Clayton (24–3).