DODGEVILE — Southwest Wisconsin Conference champion Dodgeville and standout senior Hannah Jones got the best of Platteville in the team’s two regular season meetings.
But history did not repeat itself Saturday night.
Platteville used a 1–3–1 zone to slow Dodgeville’s high-powered offense and got a trio of timely 3-point shots from sophomore point guard Josie Nies in the second half to rally for a 50–37 victory over host Dodgers in Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 regional final.
This was Platteville’s third straight regional championship.
“I am very proud of this group for going on the road to bring back a regional championship,” said Platteville head coach Brandon Temperly. “We stuck together and our experience from being in these types of games was an advantage. All of the girls in the program in recent years are connected to these championships and the current and past players and coaches should take pride in this accomplishment.”
It didn’t look good early on for the Hillmen (20–4) as turnovers and fouls mounted and the Dodgers (21–3) raced out to 15–6 lead eight minutes into the game.
Platteville sophomore Sami Martin picked up her second foul of the game with less than four minutes into the game.
A Jones steal and breakaway layup made it 13–6, then Platteville senior Skye Digman picked up her second foul at the 11:57 mark.
A minute later, freshman JoJo Heimerl hit a long jumper from the wing with just over 10 minutes left in the half.
Temperly had seen enough.The Hillmen coach called a timeout, switched to a 1–3–1 zone and a few minutes later gambled by putting Martin and Digman back in the game.
“We were having trouble keeping Dodgeville from getting into the lane,” said Temperly. “After we switched to the 1–3–1, we were able to force them into taking contested jump shots. We also did a great job keeping Dodgeville off the free throw line which had been a problem in the first two games. We made some great plays in the passing lanes and came up with some hustle plays when we needed them. “
Sophomore Becca Hoyer drew a charge on a hobble Jones — her third of the half — with 7:07 left before intermission and the momentum began to shift.
Jones, who torched the Hillmen for 34 and 29 points in the two regular season victories over Platteville, injured her left ankle early in Friday’s night’s regional semifinal victory over Prairie du Chien and didn’t even score in the 51–39 victory and did not play in the second half.
Then, Martin drilled a jumper, then Hoyer scored six straight points to make it a one-point game.
After a pair of free throws by Dodgeville freshman Olivia Argall, Platteville tied the game on a jump shot by senior Hanna Langmeier.
Argall hit a 3-pointer with 1:43 left in the half and took a slim 24–23 lead into locker room.
But Platteville came out of the locker room on a mission.
Nies scored on the first play of the second half on a nice feed from Digman to give the Hillmen their first lead since the opening minute of the game.
Nies then drilled a 3-pointer from the right corner a minute later to make it 28–24.
She hit another 3 with 13:10 to play to make it five-point game, then after a free throw line jumper by Digman, Nies drilled her third triple of the half to extend Platteville’s lead to 41–31 with 7:56 to play.
Nies finished with 11 points, all in the second half, and a team-high 10 rebounds for her first career double–double.
“Josie played her best game of the season,” said Temperly. “She has really played well defensively the second half of the season and that continued against Dodgeville. It was great to see her hit shots in the second half because she has spent countless hours working on her shooting along with her teammates. The team rallied around each other and we made the plays we needed to get the job done.”
Jones scored on an inbound play on the ensuing possession, but picked up her fourth foul a minute later and Platteville held Dodgeville scoreless for the next five minutes.
Langmeier split a pair free throws, and Digman’s putback made it 44–33 with 5:15 left. Hoyer scored on a drive to the basket with three minutes left and Platteville made 4 of 9 free throws in the final minute to put the game away.
Digman finished with 11 points, six rebounds and three assists. Hoyer added eight points, two rebounds and some great defense. Sophomore Izzy Carroll was also a key to Platteville’s defensive effort with six steals and five rebounds.
The Hillmen held the injured Jones, who entered the game averaging 25 points per game, to just eight points and didn’t allow her a single free throw attempt after she went a combined 23–29 from the line in the teams’ previous two meetings.
“Hannah is a great player and she had gotten the better of us the first two times,” said Temperly. “I can’t speak for her ankle sprain, but I know that our girls did a great job making her work for everything she got.”
Platteville advances to face top-seeded Marshall (23–1) in a D3 sectional semifinal game at Oregon Thursday night at 7 p.m.
The fifth-ranked Cardinals won the Capitol South Conference. They had a 21-game winning streak until dropping a non-conference loss to Lakeside Lutheran in the final game of the regular season. The winner will advance to Saturday’s Sun Prairie Sectional final and will face either Big Foot (19–5) or Lakeside Lutheran (18–6).
Marshall, which averages, 68.5 points per game, is led by freshman Mia Morel, who averages a team-high 17 points and 6.1 assists per game.
“Marshall is a great team with a high powered offense,” said Temperly. “They really like to get out in transition and score quickly. We are looking forward to playing a new opponent in a great environment in Oregon.”
Platteville opened the playoffs with a 52–37 regional semifinal victory over 11th-seeded Edgerton on Friday night.
WIAA Division 3 Regional Semifinal
No. 3 Platteville 52, No. 11 Edgerton 37
(from Friday, Feb. 23 @ Platteville)
Edgerton 25 27 — 52
Platteville 25 27 — 52
Edgerton (8–16) — Bethany Oren 15, Morgan Demrow 11, Katie Shaw 4, Jessica Danks 7. Totals – 15 4-12 37.
Platteville (19–4) — Josie Nies 13, Becca Hoyer 4, Courtney Budden 2, Sami Martin 11, Izzy Carroll 6, Sami Knockel 2, Skye Digman 13, Allie Cooley 1. Totals — 20 9-15 52.
3-point goals — E: 3 (Oren 1, Demrow 1, Danks 1), P: 3 (Nies 1, Carroll 1, Digman 1). Total fouls — E: 19, P: 19. Fouled out — none.
WIAA Division 3 Regional Final
No. 3 Platteville 50, No. 2 Dodgeville 37
(from Saturday, Feb. 24 @ Platteville)
Platteville 23 14 — 37
Dodgeville 24 26 — 50
Platteville (20–4) — Josie Nies 11, Rachel Bailie 3, Becca Hoyer 8, Hanna Langmeier 3, Sami Martin 7, Izzy Carroll 3, Sami Knockel 4, Skye Digman 11. Totals — 19 9-23 50.
Dodgeville (21–3) — Phillips 2, JoJo Heimerl 12, Hannah Jones 8, Ludwig 3, Grace Bourne 2, Ellie Argall 5, Olivia Argall 5. Totals – 18 3-11 37.
3-point goals —P: 3 (Nies 2), D: 3 (Heimerl 1, Ludwig 1, O. Argall 1). Total fouls — P: 17, D: 22. Fouled out — D: Jones, O. Argall.