Platteville boys’ basketball coach Mike Huser didn’t exactly put a ban on the 3-point shot during the second half of Friday’s Southwest Wisconsin Conference game at Lancaster, but he did strongly “suggest” his team start working for better shots closer to the hoop.
Leading by just one point, 20-19, at the break, Platteville emerged from the locker room an entirely different team.
Looking to feed the ball into the post or drive to the hoop, the Hillmen made 9-of-10 shots in the third quarter, 12-of-16 for the entire second half and got to the free throw line repeatedly, converting 12-of-21 opportunities from the charity stripe after intermission.
The result was a convincing 59-44 victory that snapped a two-game losing streak and kept the Hillmen from falling to 1-3 in conference play.
Junior Nick Tashner emerged as the Player of the Game in the third quarter scoring 12 of his game-high 18 points in the period by making four straight shots, including a pair of wide open 3-pointers.
“Our offense really started clicking after halftime,” explained coach Huser. “Our guys were more patient and looked for the open guy. We really made a point to attack the basket in the second half and limit our three-point attempts. We were just 1-for-10 behind the arc in the first half and many of those were forced shots against pressure.”
After A.J. Day’s pull-up jumper gave the host Arrows a 21-20 lead early in the third quarter, Tashner buried the first of his two, third-quarter treys.
Jesse Heer scored on a driving layup on Platteville’s next possession and Tashner connected from downtown again the next time down the court.
With 4:13 left in the quarter Tashner converted a pair of free throws to make it 30-21.
Lancaster kept it close with a Kile Jerrett 3-pointer and a Logan Thole steal and layup, but Platteville scored on its next six possessions to build a 43-26 lead.
Derek Schambow had a lay-up, Tashner scored on a breakaway, David Bast scored on a nice post move, Logan Emendorfer had a steal and breakaway layup, and Jesse Heer scored while being shoved in the back on a nice drive to the hoop. He also made 1-of-2 free throws for the intentional foul, and with 44 seconds left in the quarter Tashner added another layup to cap the run.
To go along with his 18 points, Tashner also grabbed nine boards in the win. Bast finished the night with 11 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Platteville converted 18-of-32 free throws in the game, compared to just 1-of-3 from Lancaster.
“Anytime you can make that many more foul shots that your opponent even attempts it’s a good thing,” added Huser. “I’m really happy for the kids after the tough loss to Dodgeville the week before. We were able to execute in the second half and get a win over a much improved Lancaster team.”
Platteville 59, Lancaster 44
(from Friday, Jan. 13 @ Lancaster)
Platteville 8 12 24 15 - 59
Lancaster 8 9 9 6 - 44
Platteville (4-6, 2-2) - Jesse Heer 9, Logan Emendorfer 9, Garrison Jones 4, Derek Schambow 2, Dylan Tranel 3, Deacon Swenson 1, David Bast 11, Nick Tashner 18, Shane Ferarri 2. Totals - 19 18-32 59.
Lancaster (4-7, 0-4) - Schnepper 2, Ihm 2, Day 15, Hore 6, Jerrett 9, Thole 5, Budack 3, Recker 2. Totals - 19 1-3 44.
3-point goals - P: 3 (Emendorfer 1, Tashner 2); L: 5 (Day 3, Jerrett 1, Thole 1).