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T'Wolves come through with the game on the line
Ridge ends Potosi season in regional final, 5439
The River Ridge varsity girls basketball team was all smiles with their WIAA Division 5 Regional plaque in their hands last Saturday night. The Timberwolves (21-4) defeated host Potosi, 54-39, in Saturday nights regional final, and advanced to play Shullsburg (20-5) this Thursday night at Prairie du Chien High School.

POTOSI — With the Chieftains playing an attacking man-to-man defense against visiting River Ridge last Saturday night, coach Caron Townsend had no choice but to instruct her Timberwolves to attack the basket in the second half, which certainly worked out in their favor.

In last Saturday night’s WIAA division 5 regional final, Townsend’s Timberwolves shot 28 free throws in the second half alone, and made 21 of them to claim a 54-39 victory over the host Chieftains.

The win sends River Ridge (21-4) to Thursday night’s sectional semifinal against Shullsburg (20-5), which will be played at Prairie du Chien beginning at 7 p.m.

For Potosi, the loss brought an end to a very successful season for coach Brad Bierman’s Chieftains, who collected a share of this year’s Six Rivers West conference title with a record of 10-2, going 18-5 overall.

Yet last Saturday night, Bierman’s squad committed 25 personal fouls and had three players foul out, while River Ridge made a living at the free throw line.

“I just think it got to be so physical that the calls went our way and got us to the free throw line,” said coach Townsend. “We didn’t have any other choice but to drive at them. They weren’t giving us any room to pass or to shoot. We only had one choice, and it helped us in the long run because we got to the free throw line.”

“They were pushing us way out and taking us kind of out of our offense a little bit, so we had to drive in order to get into an attacking position on the floor, and it worked,” Townsend added.

The first half was played relatively even, though River Ridge jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead before Potosi tied things up at 10-10 with 7:24 to play in the half.

From there, the two teams were tied two more times in the first half, including a 15-15 score at the intermission.

Potosi came out as the aggressor in the second half and took a 22-17 lead on two free throws by junior Amber Udelhoven.

A 3-pointer by Udelhoven then gave the Chieftains a 28-23 advantage with 11:09 to play in the game, before River Ridge started making their move.

A field goal by senior Maria Breuer, followed by two free throws from fellow senior Rachael Herrick, and then a field goal by sophomore Skylar White, gave River Ridge a 29-28 lead with 9:40 to play in the game, a lead which the Timberwolves would never relinquish.

From that point on, River Ridge made just four field goals in the final nine minutes, but knocked down 16-of-22 free throw attempts to secure the victory.

The Timberwolves also put the defensive clamps on Potosi in the final nine minutes, allowing just four field goals and three free throws, while outscoring their opponent 25-11 in a crucial stretch.

“Sophie got her fourth foul when we had a five-point lead, and Brittany was also out with four fouls, which forced the other girls to play without a break and we started to get tired,” said coach Bierman.

“River Ridge did a good job of taking advantage and really drove the ball at us and forced the ball inside,” Bierman added. “Most of the final 10 minutes of the game was played at the free throw line.”

“I should have adjusted and got us out of our man defense and went zone during that stretch, so that is on me,” Bierman added. “I knew we were tired and I failed to make the proper adjustment, so I take a lot of responsibility for this loss.”

After scoring six points in the first half, Potosi’s all-time leading scorer, Abby Kaiser, was held to just three points in the second half. On the night, Kaiser scored two field goals and was 5-of-10 from the free throw line to finish with nine points before fouling out late in the ball game.

“Especially with our defensive system, it’s five players working as one, but you’ve got to give a lot of credit to Allison Ploessl,” said coach Townsend of her defense. “We tried starting Skylar out on Kaiser and she got two quick fouls, so Allison had her the rest of the night. And like I’ve said, with our help defense, we just did a phenomenal job.”

Amber Udelhoven led the Chieftains with 10 points, while Kaiser finished with nine, senior Hannah Udelhoven with eight and senior Sophie Langkamp with seven.

“You are never ready for a season to end with a group of kids like this,” Bierman said. “River Ridge is very good and we certainly didn’t play as well offensively as we can. This group won a regular-season championship though, and they will have that forever, so I’m really proud of them.”

“This group got our program back on track to where it needs to be,” Bierman added. “Winning a conference championship was an incredible accomplishment given how difficult our league was this year. This season should give our program a lot of momentum going forward.”

The Timberwolves were led by White, who poured in 18 points and was 5-of-8 from the free throw line in the second half.

Junior Taylor Langmeier finished with 14 points and was 6-of-9 from the line, while Breuer added 11 points and was 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. Ploessl finished with eight points and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

“It feels great, and it’s just super nice to see them get something back on their investment and a reward for all their hard work,” said Townsend of the regional title.

“We’re not very deep, but I think we’re in really good game shape right now and we’re healthy,” Townsend added. “I think things are all aligned right now and this is where we’re suppose to be this time of the year.”

 Prior to claiming the regional title, River Ridge defeated Ithaca, 63-9, last Wednesday night, then knocked off Riverdale, 52-38, last Friday night.

Against Ithaca, White led the Timberwolves with 17 points, while Langmeier was close behind with 16 and Herrick chipped in seven.

In their win over Riverdale, White again poured in 17 points, with Breuer adding 16 and Langmeier nine.

Potosi advanced to Saturday’s regional final with a 78-22 victory over De Soto last Wednesday night, followed by a 58-29 victory over Kickapoo on Friday.

Against De Soto, Kaiser poured in a game-high 26 points, followed by 17 for Justice Udelhofen and eight from Amber Udelhoven.

In their win over Kickapoo, Kaiser netted a team-high 16 points, followed by 10 each from Brittany Horner and Amber Udelhofen as well as nine from Hannah Udelhoven.

The Chieftains lose four seniors from this year’s squad in Kaiser, Langkamp, Toni Pluemer and Hannah Udelhoven.



River Ridge 54, Potosi 39

(D5 regional final from Saturday, Feb. 24)

River Ridge 15 39 - 54

Potosi 15 24 - 39

River Ridge - Skylar White 18, Taylor Langmeier 14, Allison Ploessl 8, Rachael Herrick 3, Maria Breuer 11. Totals - 14 23-33 54.

Potosi - Abby Kaiser 9, Justice Udelhofen 4, Brittany Horner 1, Amber Udelhoven 10, Sophie Langkamp 7, Hannah Udelhoven 8. Totals - 13 10-23 39.

3-point goals - RR: Langmeier 2, White 1; P: H. Udelhoven 2, A. Udelhoven 1, . Team fouls - RR 17, P 25. Fouled out - Herrick (RR), Horner (P), Langkamp (P), Kaiser (P).


River Ridge 63, Ithaca 9

(D5 regional quarterfinal from Wednesday, Feb. 21)

Ithaca 7 2 - 9

River Ridge 35 28 - 63

Ithaca - Bailey Miller 2, Erin Miller 2, Jadah Barto 2, Mallory Kershner 3. Totals - 2 4-4 9.

River Ridge - Skylar White 17, Taylor Langmeier 16, Allison Ploessl 3, Rachael Herrick 7, Riley Zinkle 2, Maria Breuer 6, Bayli Mason 6, McKenzie Graf 2, Chloe Stagman 4. Totals - 23 13-19 63.

3-point goals - I: Kershner 1; RR: White 3, Herrick 1. Team fouls - I 19, RR 8. Fouled out - None.


Potosi 78, De Soto 22

(D5 regional quarterfinal from Wednesday, Feb. 21)

De Soto 3 19 - 22

Potosi 53 25 - 78

De Soto - Riley Anderson 2, Ava Brosinski 14, Jenna Krzewinski 1, Brooke Lockington 1, Johanna Kunert 4. Totals - 5 12-25 22.

Potosi - Sydney Fecht 2, Abby Kaiser 26, Justice Udelhofen 17, Lilly Post 5, Brittany Horner 2, Amber Udelhoven 8, Sophie Langkamp 6, Shae Siegert 6, Toni Pluemer 2, Hannah Udelhoven 2, Paige Siegert 2. Totals - 31 11-14 78.

3-point goals - DS: None; P: Udelhofen 2, A. udelhoven 1, S. Siegert 2. Team fouls - DS 12, P 21. Fouled out - None.


River Ridge 52, Riverdale 38

(D5 regional semifinal from Friday, Feb. 23)

Riverdale 18 20 - 38

River Ridge 18 34 - 52

Riverdale - Cally Arellano 8, Macy Mau 6, Tatum Johnson 8, Madison Couey 8, Tess Johnson 3, Makayla Mau 5. Totals - 12 11-19 38

River Ridge - Faith Schier 1, Skylar White 17, Taylor Langmeier 9, Allison Ploessl 2, Rachael Herrick 6, Maria Breuer 16, Bayli Mason 1.Totals - 16 17-27 52.

3-point goals - R: Couey 1, Makayla Mau 1, Arellano 1; RR: White 1, Herrick 2. Team fouls - R 20, RR 14. Fouled out - Makayla Mau (R).


Potosi 58, Kickapoo 29

(D5 regional semifinal from Friday, Feb. 23)

Kickapoo 10 19 - 29

Potosi 29 29 - 58

Kickapoo - stats not made available.

Potosi - Abby Kaiser 16, Justice Udelhofen 3, Lilly Post 4, Brittany Horner 10, Amber Udelhoven10, Sophie Langkamp 6, Hannah Udelhoven 9. Totals - 21 4-10 58.

3-point goals - K: n/a; P: J. Udelhofen 1, A. Udelhoven 2, H. Udelhoen 1. Team fouls - K n/a, P n/a. Fouled out - None.