MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U.COM GAME OF THE WEEK (Jan. 13–20)
BOYS BASKETBALL: Platteville 55, River Valley 52 (OT)
PLATTEVILLE — Platteville outscored visiting Highland 38–19 in the second half to overcome a five-point halftime deficit and pull out a 67–54 non-conference victory over Highland last Tuesday night.
Three nights later, the Hillmen survived a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer by River Valley senior Will Bailey, then outscored the visiting Blackhawks 8–5 in overtime to notch a 55–52 Southwest Wisconsin Conference victory, Platteville’s first in league play this season.
“We really showed some determination in the win over Valley,” said Platteville head coach Mike Huser. “It was a complete team effort. I was so proud of our guys and how hard we played. Devin Digman and Wyatt Heer had big scoring nights.”
Platteville built a 29–20 halftime lead thanks to a team-high 13 first-half points from junior Wyatt Heer.
The Blackhawks (3–6, 3–3 SWC) whittled away at the lead throughout the second half thanks to five 3-pointers. Valley caught the Hillmen and tied the game at 49–49 on a short jump shot by junior Landen Alt with just under two minutes to play.
Platteville missed an opportunity on its next possession, and the visiting Blackhawks ran off the final 1:16 to hold for the last shot, but Bailey’s potential game-winning 3-pointer missed the mark and the game went to overtime.
Digman scored in the post on Platteville’s first possession of overtime on a pass from freshman Garrison Tashner.
Valley’s next possession resulted in a steal on a inbound play by sophomore Digman, who chased down the lose ball and finished the play with a two-handed dunk to make it 51–47 with 1:50 left. The Blackhawks missed a 3-pointer on their next possession and Digman got the rebound.
Platteville missed a pair of free throws on its next trip down court, but the Hillmen defense again forced a turnover. Heer split a pair of free throws to give the Hillmen at five-point lead before Alt drained a 3-pointer to make it a one-possession game at 52–50. Senior Isaac Vorwald was fouled on Platteville’s next possession and made both free throws to extend the Hillmen lead to 54–50 with 30 seconds left.
Valley’s Zach Gloudeman made a pair of free throws, then Platteville turned it over and the Blackhawks had more more chance to steal the win.
Again Bailey missed a potential game-winning three from the top of the key and senior Aidan Sparkman got the rebound with one second left. He was immediately fouled and made 1 of 2 free throws to provide the final margin of victory, 55–52.
Digman finished with a career- and game-high 23 points on 10 of 14 shooting from the field, and grabbed a team-high 11 rebound for his fifth double–double of the year.
“Devin played at a level we knew he was capable of and played with a purpose,” said Huser. “He was tough to handle in the post and was really good in the overtime. Valley is a quality team in our league so the being able to win on our home court against a good team should give our guys the confidence we need moving forward to know we can compete at a high level. It is my belief that a win like this can really help us move in the right direction as we continue to build our program back to what we are used to seeing the last several years.”
River Valley defeated Platteville 48–45 in season opener for both teams Dec. 4.
Heer made four 3-pointers and also finished with a new career-high of 19 points to go along with six rebounds and two rebounds. Vorwald and Tashner added five points apiece.
Preston Hying scored a team-high 19 points to lead the Blackhawks (3–5, 3–3 SWC) in the loss.
Platteville 55, River Valley 52 (OT)
(from Friday, Jan. 15 @ Platteville)
River Valley 20 27 5 — 52
Platteville 29 18 8 — 55
River Valley (3–5, 3–3) — Will Bailey 5, Tyler Nachreiner 6, Preston Hying 19, Landen Alt 10, Zach Gloudeman 9, Kameran Smith 3. Totals — 20 5-6 52.
Platteville (3–9, 1–5) — Isaac Vorwald 5, Garrison Tashner 5, Aidan Sparkman 1, Logan Page 2, Wyat Heer 19, Devin Digman 23. Totals — 20-52 7-13 55.
3-point goals — RV: 7 (Bailey 1, Nachreiner 2, Hying 1, Alt 2, Smith 1), P: . Team fouls — RV: 15, P: 6-24 (Vorwald 1, Tashner 1, Heer 4). Fouled out — RV: Gloudeman.