PLATTEVILLE — The Platteville girls basketball team continued re-writing the Hillmen history books last week by winning the program’s first regional title in 24 years.
A week after winning just the second conference title in school history (the first came in 2013), Platteville defeated Southwest Wisconsin Conference foe River Valley 46–37 in a WIAA Division 3 regional semifinal Friday night.
The Hillmen then dispatched SWC runner-up Richland Center, 53–39, on Saturday night to win the team’s first regional title since 1992 and only the third in program history. Platteville also won a regional title in 1984 en route to winning the Class B state title.
In the process, this year’s Platteville girls team became the first in school history to win both a conference and regional title in the same season.
“This is an incredible accomplishment for this group of young ladies and like the conference championship, this is a badge of honor that each girl can take with her forever,” said Platteville head coach Brandon Temperly. “The community and parent support has been fantastic for these young ladies and we look forward to great times ahead- this season and beyond.”
The Hillmen (17–7) will now face another familiar foe in Prairie du Chien (14–9) in Thursday’s D3 sectional semifinal at Baraboo at 7 p.m.
The Blackhawks upset top-seeded Wisconsin Dells 64–62 on a last-second shot to win their regional Saturday night.
Platteville split with Prairie du Chien during the regular season, winning at Prairie on Jan. 8, 58–51, before losing at home on Feb. 11, 66–60.
“We will focus on a defensive game plan that will try to limit what they do well,” said Temperly of Thursday’s rematch with Prairie du Chien. "We need to be smart defensively and stay out of foul trouble. We were in early foul trouble a few weeks ago and we ended up down 29–17 at halftime the last time we played.”
With a win the Hillmen would face the winner of Marshall (24–0, ranked second in D2) and fourth-seeded Madison Edgewood (18–6).
Senior Sierra Brecke scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the second half of Saturday's win over Richland Center, but battled foul trouble in the first half.
With Brecke sitting on the bench for the final 10 minutes of the first half with two fouls, fellow senior Allison Woodworth picked up the slack hitting three consecutive jump shots, including one with four seconds left in the half to stake the Hillmen to a 24–18 halftime lead.
"Al has been very steady all season long and she continued to be solid when we needed her," said Temperly. "She works very hard on the court defensively and on the glass. She can gaurd mulitiple positions and is a smart young lady. He huge basket to end the half kept the momentum going in our favor."
Brecke drilled back-to-back three-pointers from the right corner early in the seocnd half to give Platteville a 30–22 lead with 14:29 left.
Fellow senior Claire Tashner scored seve of her 12 points in a 14–3 Platteville run late in the second half that pushed the Hillmen lead to 46–29 with 3:24 remaining to put the game out of reach.
Brecked scored a team-high 16 points in Friday's nine-point victory at River Valley. Senior Rachel Emendorfer added 12 points, inlcuding three big second-half three-pointers that kept the Blackhawks at bay.
"Rachel picked a great night to shoot it well," said Temperly. "Each time Valley made a run at us, Rachel hit a back-breaking three. We are always looking for girls to step up when we needed and she certainly did that Friday night. She's been a great leader for us this year and we'll need that each night."
WIAA Division 4 Regional Semifinal
Platteville 46, River Valley 37
(from Friday, Feb. 26 @ Platteville)
7) River Valley 22 15 — 37
2) Platteville 27 19 — 46
River Valley (10–14) — Jerrica Hood 4, Lindsey Drachenberg 7, Taylor Briehl 11, Rose Askevold 2, Carmen Hood 5, Kylie Hoffman 8. Totals – 15 3-5 37.
Platteville (16–7) — Brelynn Updike 2, Claire Tashner 11, Rachel Emendorfer 12, Sierra Brecke 16, Skye Digman 5. Totals — 16 7-12 46.
3-point goals — RV: 4 (Drachenberg 1, C. Hood 1, Hoffman 2); P: 7 (Tashner 1, Emendorfer 4, Brecke 2). Total fouls — RV: 15, P: 9. Fouled out — none.
WIAA Division 4 Regional Final
Platteville 53, Richland Center 39
(from Saturday, Feb. 27 @ Platteville)
3) Richland Center 16 23 — 39
2) Platteville 24 29 — 53
Richland Center (14–10) — Cassidy Whitney 4, Lexi Ewing 2, Olson 2, Paige Perkins 2, Madison Rizner 9, Kloie Kinney 4, Brooklyn Liegel 6, Brooke Peterson 10. Totals – 17 5-13 39.
Platteville (17–7) — Alexis Budden 4, Brelynn Updike 2, Claire Tashner 12, Rachel Emendorfer 4, Sami Brookens 3, Allison Woodworth 6, Sierra Brecke 19, Skye Digman 3. Totals — 18 13-27 53.
3-point goals — RC: 0; P: 4 (Emendorfer 1, Brookens 1, Brecke 2). Total fouls — RC: 25, P: 20. Fouled out — RC: Liegel, Kinney.