STOUGHTON — For the second straight year, Marshall’s talented sophomore class was too much for Platteville junior-dominated team.
Versatile 6-foot-1 forward Anna Lutz poured in a game-high 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while standout point guard Mia Morel added 21 points, six assists and six rebounds to lead the second-ranked Cardinals to a convincing 78–61 WIAA Division 3 sectional final victory at Stoughton High School Saturday afternoon.
Fellow sophomore Laura Nickel added 13 points for the defending D3 state champion Cardinals (24–2), who advanced to a second straight state tournament with Saturday’s win.
Morel was the 2017–18 Capitol Conference Player of the Year as a freshman when she led Marshall to the 2018 D3 state title after Marshall ended Platteville’s 2018 with a 78–67 victory over the Hillmen in last year’s D3 sectional semifinals. Morel and Lutz are both drawing Division 1 interest as sophomores.
Platteville went toe-to-toe with the mighty Cardinals for the first eight minutes, but Mashall’s offensive fire power was too much to contain.
“In the end Marshall shot better from the floor and from the free throw line,” said first-year Hillmen head coach Mike Foley. “We left some shots on the floor that I feel we could have converted on, however that is high school athletics. I also feel that we needed to rebound better. We did give Marshall too many second chance opportunities and they converted on them with a basket or a free throw opportunity.
“I know that the girls played their hearts out and I am proud of them. As a coach it is the most difficult thing to go into the locker room after not winning a sectional final game. There is a lot a stake and the players are disappointed that they did not make it to the next level. I hope that this puts a little fuel to the fire in our players. Not winning hurts now, but this should be a massive motivator for next year.”
Morel scored Marshall’s first seven points on a pair of tough pull up jumpers and a 3-pointer from the wing, but Platteville rallied from an early 10–6 deficit to tie the game at 18–18 on back-to-back layups by junior Becca Hoyer, then again at 21–21 on a 3-pointer by junior Josie Nies with 10:15 left in the opening half.
But the Cardinals used a tide-turning 15–0 run over the next six minutes — Lutz hit a pair of 3s and Morel added a triple from the wing during the spurt — to take control of the game at 36–24.
Marshall then began the second half on a 9–4 run as the lead ballooned to 18 at 52–36.
Junior Allison Cooley scored back-to-back layups to make it 52–28 with 14:17 left, but the explosive Cardinals kept pouring it on.
Marshall’s lead reached 21 for a second time at 63–42 on a Lutz basket in the lane with nine minutes left.
Platteville got as close as 13 points at 71–58 with two minutes to play on Nies’ fourth 3-pointer of the game, but the Cardinals made 7 of 8 from the line in the final 1:48 to close out the win.
“Lutz, Morel and Nickel are good players,” said Foley. “They play well together for such a young team. They are well coached and they always seem to be in the right place at the right time. I will be amazed if Marshall is not crowned the Division 3 state champion again this year.”
Marshall will face Gale–Ettrick–Trempeleau (24–2) in a D3 state semifinal Thursday at 1:35 p.m. at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
Nies scored a team-high 20 points, made a team-high seven steals and passed out four assists to lead the Hillmen in one of her finest games this season.
Junior Sami Martin added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Hillmen. Hoyer finished with 11 points, six steals and four assists. Classmate Izzy Carroll added four points, eight rebounds and a team-high seven assists.
Cooley finished with four points and junior Courtney Budden and sophomore Maddie Cooley scored two points apiece for Platteville.
The Hillmen, who have reached the sectionals each of the past four years, finished the season 20–5 overall.
“Overall, I feel we had a successful season and we were able to come together as a team under a new coach,” added Foley. “I am proud of what they accomplished this season. We need to continue to take the family, team oriented approach into next season in order to have the same success.”
“The girls went 20–5 this season, and four of our five losses were to teams that won WIAA regional championships and advanced to play at the sectional level. We lost to Marshall and Black Hawk [D5] that are heading to the state tournament for their respective divisions. We also were the only team this year to hold Black Hawk’s high powered offense under 45 points. We also lost to Prairie du Chien and Mineral Point who both advanced to the sectional semifinals.”
Platteville ended SWC champion Prairie du Chien’s season with a 48–39 sectional semifinal victory over the Blackhawks (20–2) Friday at Madison Edgewood High School.
The Hillmen led by as many as 16 points early in the second half at 33–17, but the Blackhawks cut the lead to three, 42–39, on a step-back 3-pointer by freshman Lilly Krahn (16 points) with 38 seconds left.
Martin, who scored a game-high 17 points, made a pair of free throws, then Hoyer (10 points) came up with a steal and breakaway layup on the ensuring possession to make it a seven-point game, 46–39, with 21 seconds left.
Carroll posted a double–double of 13 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
WIAA Division 3 Sectional Semifinal
Platteville 48, Prairie du Chien 39
(from Thursday, Feb. 28 @ Edgewood)
Platteville 25 23 — 48
Prairie du Chien 15 24 — 39
Platteville (20–4) — Becca Hoyer 5 0-0 10, Courtney Budden 0 2-2 2, Josie Nies 0 1-2 1, Sami Martin 5 7-9 17, Izzy Carroll 4 2-3 13, Allison Cooley 2 1-2 5. Totals – 17-40 13-18 48.
Prairie du Chien (20–2) — Lily Krahn 5 4-4 16, Ella Hager 2 0-0 5, Makenzie Knapp 2 0-0 4, Macey Banasik 2 0 5, Gabby Ritchie 2 2-2 6, Allison Riebe 1 0 3. Totals – 14 6-6 39.
3-point goals — Pla: (Carroll 1), PdC: 5 (Krahn 2, Hager 1, Banasik 1, Riebe 1). Total fouls — Pla: 12, PdC: 18. Fouled out — none.
WIAA Division 3 Sectional Final
Marshall 78, Platteville 61
(from Saturday, March 1 @ Stoughton)
Marshall 43 35 — 78
Platteville 30 31 — 78
Marshall (24–2) — Anna Lutz 11 6-7 30, Mya Andrews 0 2-2 2, Mia Morel 8 2-2 21, Ceraya Morel 1 0-0 2, Bailey Neuberger 2 4-5 8, Laura Nickel 4 3-4 13, Abby Ward 0 2-2 2. Totals 26 19-22 78.
Platteville (20–5) — Courtney Budden 1 0-2 2, Becca Hoyer 5 1-1 11, Josie Nies 7 2-2 20, Sami Martin 7 4-6 18, Maddie Cooley 1 0-0 2, Izzy Carroll 2 0-0 4, Allison Cooley 2 0-0 4. Totals 25 7-11 61.
3-point goals — M: 7 (Morel 3, Lutz 2, Nickel 2), P: 3 (Nies 3). Total fouls — M: 15, P: 14. Fouled out — none.