Junior shooting guard Chase Bellmeyer had the hot hand all weekend, but his sharp shooting couldn’t prevent an 0–2 start to the season for the Platteville boys basketball team.
Bellmeyer buried five three-pointers and scored a game-high 21 points to keep the Hillmen close in Friday’s season-opener, but Division 1 Oregon held on for a 58–46 non-conference victory in the first game of the UW–Platteville Thanksgiving Classic at UW–P’s Williams Field House.
Alex Duff scored a team-high 16 points and had a nice two-handed breakaway slam late in the first half to lead the Panthers.
Oregon (2–0) went on to win the three-team tournament with a 71–56 victory over defending Division 5 state champion Milwaukee Young Coggs Prep early Saturday afternoon.
Bellmeyer again had the touch in Saturday’s final game of the Thanksgiving Classic making four triples in the first 10 minutes, but Young Copps Prep rallied to hand Platteville a 75–61 defeat.
Platteville struggled to take care of the ball in the first nine minutes of Friday’s season opener. The Hillmen committed 10 first-half turnovers and Oregon took advantage.
Duff’s breakaway dunk gave the Panthers a 17–7 lead at the 9:37 mark. A layup by Steven Moravec and a three-point play by Matt Pearson extended the lead to 22–9.
Charlie Soule added a pair of free throws and Christian Bultman’s three-pointer after a steal gave Oregon its largest lead of the first half at 29–11 with 4:51 left on the clock.
Then Bellmeyer caught fire. He buried back-to-back threes and scored on a putback in the final minute, but Platteville still trailed by 16 at the half, 35–19.
“We started out slow and had too many first-half turnovers,” said Platteville head coach Mike Huser. “We didn’t do a good job of adjusting to the game speed and tempo that Oregon plays. We challenged the guys at halftime to step up and play harder and smarter in the second half and we did that.”
Bellmeyer hit two more threes and scored 10 points after halftime as Platteville cut the lead to single digits.
Sophomore Donovan Blevins also came alive, attacking the basket for 12 of his 14 points.
The second-half scoring exploits of Bellmeyer and Blevins were enough as the 16-point halftime deficit was too much to overcome.
“Even though we are a veteran team with varsity experience at several spots, we are still a young team playing three juniors and a sophomore,” said Huser. “I was happy with the way we played in the second half and the steps we took too against a very good team. Oregon is a Division 1 team that is expected to compete for the Badger Conference title.”
Bellmeyer’s hot start in Saturday’s loss to Young Coggs Prep (1–2) helped Platteville build a 29–21 first-half lead, but in the end the Hillmen could not contain the Eagles’ speed and athleticism.
Young Coggs closed the half on a 14–3 run and outscored the Hillmen 43–28 in the second half.
Sophomore guard Jontae Peterson tore apart the Plattevile defense with his shooting and dribble penetration. Six-foot-five senior Raheem Coleman beat up the Hillmen in the post. Peterson scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half, Coleman finished with a game-high 18 points.
Junior guard Braden Nies had 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists to lead the Hillmen in defeat.
Bellemeyer finished with 15 points on 5 of 10 from behind the arc with two assists. Senior forward Mitch Knockel added 13 points and seven boards.
“Young Coggs Prep has a great combination of size, skill and ability to shoot the basketball,” said Huser. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they won the D5 state title again this year. Once Peterson got going we had a hard time containing their dribble penetration. We cut the lead to six a couple times late, but in the end their quickness got us.”
Platteville will face a second straight defending state champion when they host 2015 Division 2 champ Mount Horeb (0–1) on Tuesday.
Oregon 58, Platteville 46
(from Friday, Nov. 27 @ UW–Platteville)
Oregon 19 27 — 58
Platteville 35 23 — 46
Oregon (1–0) — Davis 4, Duff 16, Weiland 2, Bultman 11, Marovec 4, Pearson 8, Soule 13. Totals — 24 7-15 58.
Platteville (0–1) — Mitch Knockel 2, Braden Nies 5, Colin Thiele 2, Chase Bellmeyer 21, Donovan Blevins 14. Totals — 18 4-6 46.
3-point goals — O: 3 (Duff 2, Bultman 1): P: 6 (Nies 1, Bellmeyer 5). Team fouls — O: 15; P: 19. Fouled out — none.
Young Coggs Prep 75, Platteville 61
(from Saturday, Nov. 28 @ UW–Platteville)
Milw. Young Coggs Prep 32 43 — 75
Platteville 33 28 — 61
Young Coggs Prep (1–1) — Peterson 14, Griffin 9, Brown 10, Okann 7, Minor 6, Coleman 18, Dean 2, Winters 6. Totals — 12 4-13 75.
Platteville (0–2) — Mitch Knockel 13, Jason Withrow 6, Braden Nies 16, Cody Schambow 2, Colin Thiele 2, Cole Haas 1, Chase Bellmeyer 15, Donovan Blevins 6. Totals — 23 8-12 61.
3-point goals — YC: 8 (Peterson 3, Griffin 2, Okann 1, Minor 2); P: 7 (Nies 2, Bellemeyer 5). Team fouls — YC: 17; P: 13. Fouled out — none.