GAME OF THE WEEK (Feb. 18–Feb. 24)
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Mineral Point (19–2, 13–0 SWAL, ranked 3rd in D4) at Cuba City (20–1, 12–1 SWAL, ranked 4th in D4), Thursday, Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m., KIYX (106.1 FM)
The third-ranked Pointers ended the Cubans’ 61-game winning streak and 54-game SWAL win streak with a 55-43 victory on. Jan. 15. Now Point can end Cuba City’s four-year reign as conference champion with a win Thursday night in the McDonald’s Swnews4u.com Game of the Week.
A Mineral Point win would give Mineral Point outright conference title, while a Cubans’ win would force a time atop the conference standings and give Cuba City a share of its fifth straight SWAL title.
In a year of personal milestones, that would be fitting for Coach Jeff Pustina’s Cubans. Pustina collected his 600th win earlier this year and Cuba City senior Jessi Marti became the school’s all-time leading scorer two weeks ago.
“The game with Mineral Point game is a game where if we win, it gives us a share of the conference title and that was a team goal coming into the year,” said Pustina. “I would be lying if I said we weren’t looking forward to playing Mineral Point anyway.”
The Cubans gave themselves a shot at this year’s SWAL championship by winning three games in five days last week, including SWAL wins against Southwestern (84-28 on Tuesday) and Boscobel (76-37 on Friday. They also beat Dodgeville 53-45 last Monday. Cuba City has now won eight straight games since January’s loss at Mineral Point.
“It was definitely a tough week with two of those games on the road, especially with the Dodgeville game being a physically and emotionally draining game,” said Pustina. “The kids took care of business, giving us a chance to achieve our team goals for the year.”
The two-time defending state champion Cubans are led by Marti, a Division II Northern State recruit. She leads the conference in scoring at 19.4 points per game and scored a team-high 20 points in the first meeting with Mineral Point.
Point is lead by 6-foot-3 senior center Jessica Shultz (16.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg), who committed to Division II Northern Michigan in the summer. Schultz had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Cuba City. Junior guard Sydney Staver scored a game-high 21 points in the first game.
OTHER AREA GAMES OF NOTE THIS WEEK
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Platteville (13–7, 7–2 SWC) at Richland Center (13–8, 7–2 SWC), Thursday, Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m., WPVL (107.1 FM)
The Southwest Wisconsin Conference title is on the line when the Hillmen face the Hornets tonight at 7:30 p.m. The de facto SWC title game was made possible when Prairie du Chien (11–9, 4–5) upset Platteville 66-60 last Thursday night. Richland Center defeated Platteville 80–64 at PHS on Jan. 14. Senior forward Broke Peterson went 14 of 14 from the free throw line and scored a game-high 24 points in that game to lead the Hornets. Sophomore Madison Rizner added 21 points and junior guard Brooklyn Liegel finished with 15 points. Sophomore Skye Digman had a career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Hillmen the first time around. Senior Sierra Brecke, Platteville’s leading scorer, struggled in the loss shooting 5 of 16 from the field. She wil have to be more efficient tonight if the Hillmen hope to win just their second conference title in school history.
Both teams could meet for a third time in next Saturday’s Division 2 regional final. The Hillmen are the two-seed and after a first-round bye on Tuesday, will face the winner of No. 10 Wautoma (6-13) and No. 7 River Valley (9-12) in Friday’s regional semifinal round. Third-seeded Richland Center also earned a first-round bye and will face either No. 6 Dodgeville (13–8) or No. 11 Lodi (3–16).
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Belmont (12–9, 5–6 SRW) at Shullsburg (18–3, 9–2 SRW, ranked 7th in D5), Thursday, Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m.
The Miners can clinch the outright Six Rivers West title with a win over the Braves tonight. Shullsburg, ranked seventh in Division 5, already clinched at least a share of the crown with a gritty two-pint 51-49 win at Cassville last Friday. Coach Nathan Russell’s squad defeated Belmont 54-40 on Jan. 15 in the first meeting between these two schools. Junior guard Hattie Rennert scored a game-high 19 points and sophomore center Briana Leahy finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Shullsburg earned the second-seed and will host 15th-seed North Crawford (3-14) to open the WIAA Division 5 playoffs on Tuesday. Coach Alan Seabrooke’s Braves are the seven-seed in the Shullsburg regional, and will host 10th-seed Wauzeka-Steuben (9-9).
BOYS BASKETBALL: Prairie du Chien (18–2, 8–0 SWC) at Dodgeville (16–4, 6–2 SWC), Thursday, Feb. 18, 7:15 p.m.
The Blackhawks can win the outright SWC title with a win over SWC scoring leader Trent Jones and his Dodgeville Dodgers Thursday night. Dodgeville would need a win Thursday and help from Platteville next week to have a chance to earn a share of this year's conference crown. PdC clinched at least a share of the title with a 63-36 win at Lancaster last Friday.
BOYS BASKETBALL: Iowa–Grant (19–1, 12–0 SWAL, ranked 8th in D4) at Darlington (15–4, 10–2 SWAL), Friday, Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m., WGLR (97.7 FM)
The eighth-ranked Panthers clinched a share of the SWAL title with a 63-51 victory over Fennimore on Tuesday night. It was I-G's first conference title since 1994-95. Iowa-Grant can clinch the outright crown with a win at Darlington on Friday night. I-G, which has now won 19 straight games, defeated Darlington 49-44 on Jan. 14. Senior Isaac Anderson scored a game-high 27 points and spurred a late run with a two-handed slam to lead the Panthers to victory in January.
Seasons will end and dreams will be made across the state at Saturday’s WIAA wrestling sectionals. The top three wrestlers in each weight class at Saturday’s sectional tournaments will advance to next week’s WIAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament in the Kohl Center in Madison. Below is a rundown of all area sectional qualifiers.
WIAA Division 2 Richland Center Sectional, Saturday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m., WPVL (1590 AM)
106: Zach Licht (35-4), River Valley, so.; Isaac Wiegel (35-8), Belmont/Platteville, so.
113: Caleb Radtke (33-12), River Valley, so.
120: Clayton Beers (34-4), Prairie du Chien/Wauzeka-Steuben, sr.; Rowen Wipperfurth (26-10), River Valley, fr.
126: Dustin Hatfield (38-5), River Valley, jr.; Kolten Achenbach (17-21), Richland Center, so.
132: Nick Rogge (27-8), Prairie du Chien/Wauzeka-Steuben, so,; Nate Jennings (23-16), River Valley, jr.
138: John Phelan (31-6), Dodgeville, so.
145: Gavin Wipperfurth (32-7), River Valley, jr.
152: Shane Liegel (32-8), River Valley, fr.
160: Elijah Alt (40-3), River Valley, jr.; Lucas Fugate (16-3), Belmont/Platteville, jr.
170: Zack Weber (27-10), Dodgeville, so.
182: Stephen Ronnfeldt (30-8), Prairie du Chien/Wauzeka-Steuben, so.
195: Peyton Hall (31-4), Prairie du Chien/Wauzeka-Steuben, sr.
220: Brady Wetter (23-0), Dodgeville, sr.; Tennessee Hatfield (26-17), River Valley, jr.
285: Aaron McCarthy (35-5), Cuba City/Southwestern, jr.; Payton Calvert (29-9), Dodgeville, sr.
WIAA Division 3 Mineral Point Sectional, Saturday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m., WGLR (97.7 FM)
106: Danny Pittz (32-6), Mineral Point, fr.; Trevor Wanek (20-10), Fennimore, fr.; Tyler Finnell (26-10), North Crawford/Seneca, sr.
113: Riley Lull (33-8), Fennimore, sr.; Sawyer Sarbacker (36-7), Iowa-Grant/Highland, jr.; Hunter Bredeson (22-11), Darlington/Black Hawk; Jason Griffiths (25-9), Hillsboro, so.
120: Riley Blair (16-4), Fennimore, so.; Gavin Burch (19-4), Ithaca/Weston, so.; Kolbe Ubersox (30-8), Darlington/Black Hawk, fr.; Collin Lull (17-15), Lancasater, fr.
126: Alston Nutter (34-5), Fennimore, so.; Logan Schmitz (28-10), Mineral Point, fr.; Mitchell Morris (12-8), Hillsboro, jr.; Casey Phillips (25-11), Pec/Argyle, sr.
132: Hunter Dischler (40-1), Ithaca/New Lisbon, sr.; Max Maylor (36-6), Iowa-Grant/Highland, so.; Owen Austin (24-12), Lancaster, sr,; Grady Rielly (19-11), Darlington/Black Hawk, so.
138: Brandon Forseth (33-7), Mineral Point, sr.; Justin Tollefson (27-10), Fennimore, jr.
145: Boone Schmitz (32-8), Mineral Point, jr.; Caleb Johnson (Riverdale), so.; Sam Rogers (20-6), Kickapoo/La Farge, fr.
152: Bradon Roen (24-2), Riverdale, jr.; Dustin Reynolds (35-6), Lancaster, sr.; Lance Ubersox (25-11), Darlington/Black Hawk, so.; Colton Clary (32-8), Ithaca/Weston, fr.
160: Stetson Clary (23-3), Ithaca/Weston, sr.; Brady Peat (33-7), Iowa-Grant/Highland, so.; Riley Workman (24-16), Mineral Point, so.
170: Scott Pittz (38-1), Mineral Point, sr.; Drew Hennessey (27-8), Iowa-Grant/Highland, fr.; Jacob Urban (26-9), Hillsboro, so.; Tyler Mosley (16-15), Darlington/Black Hawk, so.
182: Conrad Blosch (30-7), Darlington/Black Hawk, sr.; Louis Heberlein (30-12), Fennimore, sr.; Troy Klein (20-15), Lancasater, fr.
195: Trevor Troxel (25-6), Riverdale, sr.; Kyle Juedes (26-11), Mineral Point, jr.; Tye Schafer (26-11), North Crawford/Seneca, jr.; Lucas Gilbertson (12-15), Pec/Argyle, fr.
220: Taylor Evenstad (22-3), Darlington/Black Hawk, sr.; Cody McCollough, Fennimore (28-12), jr.; Brent Rider (23-17), Iowa-Grant/Highland, sr.
285: Carson McCauley (27-10), Ithaca/Weston, so.; Devon O’Brien (29-11), Fennimore, jr.; Jacob Tuescher (22-16), Darlington/Black Hawk, jr.; Ben Wheeler (14-10), River Ridge/Cassville, so.