Platteville didn’t go out without a fight.
Trailing by 10 with four minutes left in the third quarter and sensing their season was about to slip away the host Hillmen put together a valiant 13-4 run to pull within one. But Platteville couldn’t get over the hump in the final four minutes and eventually fell 45-41 to Southwest Wisconsin Conference rival River Valley in a Division 3 regional quarterfinal last Tuesday night at PHS.
No. 9 seed River Valley (9-15) advanced to face top-seeded Wisconsin Dells and ended its season with a 64-35 loss to the Chiefs on Saturday night. Platteville finished the year 9-13 overall.
After Coach Mike Huser’s Hillmen pulled within one at 37-36 on a Dylan Tranel layup with just over four minutes left, the contest turned into a stalemate until River Valley’s Brandon Noble turned the tide. Noble buried a clutch 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:29 remaining to give the Blackhawks a 40-36 lead and all the momentum.
Junior Nick Tashner’s three pulled the Hillmen within one a minute later, but Platteville was then forced to foul.
River Valley made six free throws in the final 90 seconds to pull away. Senior David Bast made a layup in the closing seconds to account for the final score.
“We were disappointed no question about that,” said Coach Huser. “They were a little bit better than us in the first half. They executed offensively and we missed a few opportunities to finish inside.”
Tashner finished with 15 points, two assists and two steals to lead the Hillmen. Bast added 13 points and seven rebounds in his final game.
Sophomore guard Tayt Caraway scored 14 points to pace the Blackhawks.
“This was a tremendous group of kids,” added Huser. “Easy to coach and fun to be around every day. The season as a whole didn’t go the way we might have liked, but our younger players developed, and our seniors gave us everything they had and really left their mark on the program. They were a pleasure to coach.”
WIAA Division 3 Regional Quarterfinal
No. 9 River Valley 45,
No. 8 Platteville 41,
(from Tuesday, Feb. 28)
River Valley 8 13 14 10 - 45
Platteville 7 11 9 14 - 41
River Valley (9-14) - Hoffman 2, Devita 7, Noble 7, Caraway 14, Mueller 5, Gust 8, Thering 2. Totals - 17 6-9 45.
Platteville (9-13) - Logan Emendorfer 2, Derek Schambow 3, Dylan Tranel 8, David Bast 13, Nick Tashner 15. Totals - 14 8-15 41.
3-point goals - RV: 5 (Devita 1, Noble 1, Caraway 2, Mueller 1): P: 5 (Schambow 1, Bast 1, Tashner 3). Team fouls - RV: 16; P: 14. Fouled out - None.