PLATTEVILLE — It was make or break time for the top-ranked Platteville Hillmen Saturday night; time to come together as a team and find a way to win and advance, or time to split apart for good and go their separate ways after a season-ending loss.
After a shaky first half, Platteville used a 1–3–1 trapping defense to hold the taller Madison Edgewood Crusaders to just 10 points over the final 13:46 and played some of its best team basketball of the entire season to survive a scare 47–38 in a WIAA Division 3 regional final Saturday at Platteville High School.
It was the fifth straight regional title for the Hillmen, who will now face No. 3-seeded Prairie du Chien (19–6) in a D3 sectional semifinal Thrusday night at Lodi.
Platteville defeated the Blackhawks 44–36 on Jan. 9, holding sophomore Division 1 recruit Lily Krahn scoreless the final 12 minutes of the game. The Hillmen won the rematch 66–56 on Feb. 14 against the shorthanded Blackhawks, who were without Krahn (foot) for game two.
Krahn is back after a four-game absence and scored a game-high 28 points in Saturday’s 46–39 regional final victory over No. 2 Evansville (19–5), including 15 of Prairie du Chien’s 18 first-half points.
With a win Thursday night, Platteville would advance to Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 Baraboo Sectional final to face either two-time defending state champion Marshall (20–4) or Laconia (20–4).
The #5-ranked Cardinals, who have won 14 straight games after a 6–4 start, have ended Platteville’s season each of the past two years, 78–61 in last year’s Stoughton Sectional final and 78–67 in a sectional semifinal at Oregon High School two years ago. Marshall defeated Laconia 64–56 in last year’s D3 state championship game.
(For complete coverage of Platteville's regional final victory over Madison Edgewood, get your copy of the March 4, 2020 issue of The Platteville Journal)