GAME OF THE WEEK (March 2–8)
GIRLS BASKETBALL: WIAA sectional semifinals, Thursday, March 2, 7 p.m.
Division 3: #2 Platteville (20–4) vs. #1 Wisconsin Dells (21–3), at Baraboo
The ninth-ranked Southwest Wisconsin Conference champion Hillmen vanquished conference rival Richland Center for the third time this season 60–44 in Monday night’s WIAA Division 3 regional final. Freshman point guard Josie Nies made four 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 20 points and five assists. Fellow freshman center Sami Martin added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the winners. Martin and junior Skye Digman lead the Hillmen in scoring at 14.6 points per game. Martin also averages a team-high 9.2 rebounds. Nies averages 7.6 points and a team-best 4.5 assists per game.
Platteville advances to sectional for the second year in a row and just the fourth time in school history and will now face unranked Wisconsin Dells. The Chiefs (21–3) earned the top seed in the half-sectional after going a perfect 10–0 to win the South Central Conference title. Dells defeated league rival Wautoma for the third time this season on Monday night, 53-35, to win their regional title. Junior guard Jenna Mace leads the team in scoring at 16.9 points per game. Fellow junior Katelyn Meister averaged 14.2 points per game.
EDIT: Platteville (21–4) defeated Wisconsin Dells 67–46 Thursday night and advances to play second-ranked Madison Edgewood (22–3) in a D3 sectional final Saturday afternoon at Sun Prairie at 1 p.m. Edgewood defeated top-ranked Whitewater (23–2) in a D3 sectional semifinal Thursday night.
Division 4: #2 Mineral Point (19–5) vs. #4 Darlington (17–7), at Monroe
Southwestern Wisconsin Activities League rivals Mineral Point and Darlington will meet for a third time this season in tonight’s WIAA Division 4 sectional semifinal at Monroe. The two teams split their regular season meetings with the home team winning each meeting, the Pointers 48–39 on Dec. 20 and the Redbirds taking the rematch 60–50 on Feb. 2 at Darlington. But Mineral Point went on to win a share second straight conference title with a 12–2 league mark, while Darlington finished in a tie for third-place with Riverdale (10–4).
The Pointers (19–5) dominated Waterloo 68–47 in last Friday’s regional semifinal, then held off Cuba City 64–59 in Saturday’s regional final to avenge a loss to the Cubans’ in the Feb. 24 regular season finale. Senior point guard Sydney Staver scored a game-high 29 points in Saturday’s win to lead the defending Division 4 state champion Pointers.
Sophomore Kathleen Mathias scored a team-high 13 points to lead a balanced attack as Darlington upset fourth-ranked Wisconsin Heights (22–2) in Saturday’s regional final. Taryn Rankin added six points and a team-high eight rebounds.
EDIT: Darlington (18–7) defeated Mineral Point (19–6) 52–48 Thursday night and will advance to top-ranked La Crosse Aquinas (25–0) in a D4 sectional final Saturday afternoon at Baraboo at 1 p.m. Aquinas defeated third-ranked Melrose–Mindoro (24–0) 64–43 in a D4 sectional semifinal Thursday night.
Division 5: #1 Shullsburg (21–3) vs. #2 Riverdale (21–4), at Mineral Point
Six Rivers West champion Shullsburg, ranked fourth in Division 5, will face a stern test from Riverdale. The Chieftains finished tied for third in the primarily Division 4 Southwestern Wisconsin Activities League at 10–4, but won every non-conference game this year and are 11–0 against Division 5 teams. Riverdale (21–4) steamrolled through its regional with dominating wins over Ridge and Valley opponents North Crawford, 71–31, Wauzeka–Steuben, 65–43, and Ridge and Valley champion Seneca (21–3), 55–36 in Monday night’s regional championship. McKenzie Couey (12.5 ppg), Macey Klebesadel (12.2) and Autumn Noble (11.1) each average in double figures for the Chieftains.
The Miners (21–3) went a perfect 12–0 to win a second straight Six Rivers West title, then defeated second-place Benton (15–9) Saturday night to win the regional title. Six-foot-1 junior center Brianna Leahy had a game-high 30 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks to lead Shullsburg. Leahy averages 18.4 points and 11.7 rebounds and 5 blocks per game for the Miners. Senior guard Hattie Rennert averages 14.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, and McKaliah Strang averages 6.8 points and 3.3 assists per game.
EDIT: Shullsburg (22–3) defeated Riverdale (21–5) 43–34 Thursday night and advanced to face fourth-ranked Bangor (24–3) in a D5 sectional final Saturday afternoon at Richland Center at 1 p.m. Bangor defeated Hillsboro (19–7) 56–45 in another D5 sectional semifinal Thursday night.
BOYS BASKETBALL: WIAA regional semifinals, Friday, March 3, 7 p.m.
The WIAA boys basketball playoffs continue with regional semifinal action Friday night. The winners will to Saturday’s regional finals. Here are Friday night’s pairings.
#8 Richland Center (12–11) at #1 Prairie du Chien (20–2)
#5 Dodgeville (11–11) at #4 Platteville (14–8)
#5 Brookwood (17–6) at #4 Fennimore (16–6)
#8 Cambridge (9–14) at #1 Darlington (22–0)
#5 Wisconsin Heights (12–11) at #4 Mineral Point (17–6)
#6 Iowa–Grant (10–13) at #3 Deerfield (20–2)
#7 Belleville (9–14) at #2 New Glarus (18–4)
#9 Kickapoo (11–12) at #1 Seneca (23–0)
#5 Ithaca (18–5) at #4 Potosi (15–8)
#10 Benton (11–12) at #2 Shullsburg (19–2)
#6 River Ridge (12–11) at #3 Highland (15–7)
PREP GYMNASTICS: WIAA Division 2 State Championships, Friday–Saturday, March 3–4, at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln
The 47th Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Gymnastics State Championships will take place Friday and Saturday, March 3–4, at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. The team championships will begin Friday at 2 p.m. The individual competition will begin at 11:10 a.m. Saturday. Ticket prices for the championships are $6 per session and are available at the door.
Southwest Wisconsin Conference champion Dodgeville/Mineral Point will be competing in Friday’s WIAA Division 2 team state championships. It is the Dodgers second appearance at the team state meet.
A number of area gymnasts will be committing in Saturday’s individual state championships. Area competitors include:
Dodgeville/Mineral Point: Miah Lemanski (all-around, bars, beam, floor, vault); Tessa Bookshop, fr., (all-around, bars, beam, floor, vault); Alyssa Belling, jr., (bars, beam).
Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster: Grace Hammermeiseter, sr. (all-around, beam, floor); Lizzy Haag, fr., (uneven bars).
Prairie du Chien/Fennimore: Kylee O’Kane, fr., (bars)
River Valley: Caroline Lausly, jr., (all-around, bars, beam, floor, vault).
Southwestern/Benton/Cuba City: Kelsie Goffinet, sr., (all-around, vault, bars, beam, floor); Brittney Kruser, sr., (bars, floor)