SUN PRAIRIE — Madison Edgewood and senior Estella Moschkau were every bit as good as advertised.
The 6-foot-2-inch Stanford recruit and her talented teammates dominated the first half of Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 sectional final and won going away against ninth-ranked Platteville 57–31 to earn a second straight trip to the WIAA state tournament.
Moschkau was brilliant at both ends of the court as the Crusaders (23–3) raced out to a 21–5 lead and never looked back just one day after knocking off top-ranked Whitewater (23–2) 61–48 in a sectional semifinal.
Moschkau scored 19 of her game-high 31 points in the first half as Edgewood took a commanding 36–16 lead into the half. She went 8 of 11 from the field, including a perfect 3 for 3 from 3-point range, grabbed three rebounds and blocked six shots in the firs half alone. She opened the game guarding Platteville freshman point guard Josie Nies, who had averaged 16.3 points per game in three playoff games, and later took the challenge of guarding Platteville’s 6-foot-1 freshman center Sami Martin, who entered the game averaging a team-high 14.9 points per game.
Nies and junior Skye Digman scored seven points each to lead the Hillmen, who finished the year 21–5. Martin was held to a season-low five points.
The versatile Moschkau literally can do everything there is to do on a basketball court; score, shoot from distance, drive, post up, rebound, block shots and guard all five positions.
“Estella is one of the top all-around players to have played in Wisconsin,” said Platteville head coach Brandon Temperly. “At 6-foot-2, to have that skill set is very impressive. She was able to dictate the game on offense and defense. And she had incredible body control, it was amazing that she finished the game with zero fouls while playing that many minutes and still controlling the game. We needed her to have an off night but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Moschkau finished the game with 31 points on 11 of 16 shooting, eight blocks and five rebounds. Senior guard Katie Meriggioli, a Division 2 Bentley University (Mass.) recruit, added 12 points, five assists and four rebounds, and junior Caitlin Link chipped in eight points and five assists.
Martin made Platteville’s second field goal of the game at the 11:23 mark of the first half, Nies connected on a 3-pointer and Diman made 1 of 2 at the line as Platteville trimmed the Edgewood lead to 12 at 23–11 with 8:49 left in the opening half, but the Crusaders responded with a 13–0 run to open up a 36–11 lead and it was never close again.
"We knew going into the season that if we were fortunate enough to make it to the sectional final, Edgewood would be the team waiting for us,” said Temperly. “They played a great game and they forced us to have a poor game. We would love to have another shot to play them, but on that day they were the better team. The positive that should come out of a game like that is we must use that to motivate us in the future. Our girls never gave up in an adverse situation and I am proud of us for that.”
Platteville advanced to Saturday’s sectional final with a dominating 67–46 victory over top-seeded South Central Conference champion Wisconsin Dells.
A year ago, Platteville’s season ended in the D3 sectional semifinals with an upset loss to SWC rival Prairie du Chien. There was no such let down this year.
Nies hit a pair of 3-pointers in the opening six minutes and the Hillmen jumped out to an 11–4 lead. The freshman point guard added a pair of layups on back-to-back possessions a minute later to make it 15–8.
Martin scored six points in an 8–2 Platteville run that pushed the lead to 23–13 with six minutes left in the half. Digman scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half, including a key 3-pointer that gave Platteville a 51–34 lead. Digman and Martin made back-to-back layups to cap a 13–3 run and give the Hilmen their biggest lead of the game at 59–37 with four minutes left.
“Our defense had been stellar leading up to the Wisconsin Dells game and it was our defense that came through again,” said Temperly. “We coupled that with a good shooting night as well. We felt we had something to prove since we were voted the two seed and our team made a statement about where we belong. It was a much nicer ride home from Baraboo this year.”
Martin finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Nies had 15 points, six assists and two steals, while Digman added 17 points and seven boards. Freshman Becca Hoyer scored six points, all in the second half, and junior Rachel Bailie pulled down eight rebounds.
“We took another step forward this season,” said Temperly. “We were undefeated in conference, won another regional championship, and made it one game farther than last year. We started playing our best basketball at the right time and that is a direct result to the girls buying into each other. Our young players got better as the season progressed, our juniors came on strong over the course of the season, and our four seniors played an important role in leading this team to success. I am very proud of this group of girls and they created some very fun memories for themselves, our coaches, and the community.”
WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinal
No. 2 Platteville 67, No. 1 Wisconsin Dells 46
(from Thursday, March 2 @ Baraboo)
Platteville 21 25 — 46
Wisconsin Dells 28 39 — 67
Platteville (21–4) — Josie Nies 15, Brelynn Updike 2, Rachel Bailie 1, Becca Hoyer 6, Hanna Langmeier 1, Sami Martin 21, Sami Knockel 1, Skye Digman 17, KD Hoyer 2. Totals — 23 18-32 67.
Wisconsin Dells (21–4) — Hannah Fielitz 1, Katelyn Meister 15, Kennedy Hickey 2, Jamie Pfeifer 2, Tessa Nelson 13, Jenna Mace 6, Bethany Smith 7. Totals – 15 12-20 46.
3-point goals — P: 3 (Nies 2, Digman 1); WD: 4 (Meister 1, Nelson 3). Total fouls — P: 18; WD: 21. Fouled out — none.
WIAA Division 3 sectional final
No. 1 Madison Edgewood 57, No. 2 Platteville 31
(from Saturday, March 4 @ Sun Prairie)
Platteville 16 15 — 31
Sun Prairie 36 21 — 57
Platteville (21–5) — Josie Nies 7, Brelynn Updike 5, Rachel Bailie 3, Hanna Langmeier 2, Sami Martin 5, Sami Knockel 2, Skye Digman 7. Totals — 9 10-16 31.
Madison Edgewood (23–3) — Hannah Frazier 2, Katie Meriggioli 12, Bri Foti 4, Estella Moschkau 31, Caitlin Link 8. Totals – 20-36 12-16 57.
3-point goals — P: 3 (Nies 1, Updike 1, Bailie 1); ME: 5 (Meriggioli 2, Moschkau 3). Total fouls — P: 18; ME: 13. Fouled out — none.