PLATTEVILLE — According to Platteville head coach Mike Huser, this year’s Southwest Wisconsin Conference boys’ basketball title is up for grabs.
Huser’s Hillmen served notice to the rest of the balanced SWC that they intend to be among the contenders with a dominating 68–48 victory over visiting Lancaster Friday night in the league opener for both teams.
The visiting Flying Arrows (1–1, 0–1 SWC) hung tough early and pulled to within a point at 18–17 with just under seven minutes left in the half when junior guard Jalen Schmitz buried a trio of 3-pointers in a two-minute span.
But Platteville (3–0, 1–0) closed the half on a 17–3 run and never looked back. Junior guard Donovan Blevins scored on a putback to ignite the run, then he and sophomore Cade Rohrbach hit back-to-back triples from the left wing to make it 26–17 at the four-minute mark.
Blevins added a slashing layup on a nice feed from senior forward Dillon Shinee moments later, then after a pair of free throws by senior guard Braden Nies, Blevins scored again, cutting to the hoop on an assist from Shinee on a nice set play out of a timeout. Then Nies buried a 3-pointer from the left wing with five seconds left in the half to give the Hillmen a commanding 35–20 lead.
“I really liked the intensity that our kids played with all night, I thought we started out strong on both ends of the floor against a very athletic and deep team,” said Huser. “We were able to execute our game plan and the kids did a good of responding to what we talked about during the practices leading up to the game.
“Braden Nies did a great job of breaking down the Lancaster zone and finding open guys in the middle and along the baseline. Dillon Shinee and Donovan Blevins did an excellent job of finishing around the basket and that helped build our lead.”
The Hillmen opened the second half on a 13–3 lead and pushed the lead to as many as 24 points at 54–30.
“Our bench gave a boost in the first half with Cade Rohrbach coming in and hitting two 3-point baskets and Zach White had a big steal and layup,” said Huser. “We have a deep bench that gives us some flexibility with our lineups so it was great to see our play not drop off when we started subbing.”
Blevins finished with a game-high 20 points on 9 of 13 shooting, and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Nies made three 3-pointers and had 17 points, five assists and two steals. Shinee added 11 points, eight boards and five assists.
“It was important to get off to a good start in conference play and to play well in front of the home crowd was great for our kids,” added Huser. “I like how this group handles their business on and off court. They understand basketball is a long season, so this is just one game and I am sure when we play Lancaster in January it will be a much different game as it is so early in the season for both teams.”
Last Tuesday, Platteville hammered visiting Juda 70–48. The Hillmen outscored the Panthers (0–2) 41–19 in the first half and were never really challenged.
Blevins scored 21 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had four steals to lead the way in the win. Shinee had a double–double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and had four assists. Nies added nine points and four dimes.
The Hillmen will return to action Friday at River Valley in another SWC double–header. The Platteville and River Valley girls will square off at 6:30 p.m. with the boys set to tip 20 minutes after the conclusion of the girls’ game.
Platteville 70, Juda 48
(from Tuesday, Nov. 29 @ Platteville)
Juda 19 29 — 48
Platteville 41 29 — 70
Juda (0–2) — Kamentz 6, Haffele 7, Schmitt 15, Stuckey 6, Stoumel 2, Manning 10, Davis 2. Totals – 16 10-23 48.
Platteville (2–0) — Donovan Blevins 21, Braden Nies 10, Cade Rohrbach 3, Brock Schambow 5, Ethan Bernhardt 7, Dillon Shinee 11, Zach White 2, Connor Riley 9, Garrett Heer 2. Totals — 28-53 10-17 70.
3-point goals — J: 4 (Kamentz 1, Haffele 1, Schmitt 1, Stuckey 1); P: 4 (Nies 1, Rohrbach 1, Schambow 1, Bernhardt 1). Total fouls — J 13, P 24. Fouled out — none.
Platteville 68, Lancaster 48
(from Friday, Dec. 2 @ Platteville)
Lancaster 20 28 — 48
Platteville 35 33 — 68
Lancaster (1–1, 0–1) — Tanner Reuter 8, Evan Gates 3, Jonathon Murphy 5, Austin Mumm 2, Jordan Reuter 4, Josh Hentrich 3, Evan Straka 6, Larry Moore 6, Jalen Schmitz 11. Totals – 17 8-13 48.
Platteville (3–0, 1–0) — Donovan Blevins 20, Braden Nies 17, Cade Rohrbach 8, Alex Traxler 5, Brock Schambow 2, Ethan Bernhardt 3, Dillon Shinee 11, Zach White 2. Totals — 29-66 14-23 68.
3-point goals — L: 6 (Schmitz 3, Gates 1, Murphy 1); P: 8 (Blevins 1, Nies 3, Rohrbach 2, Traxler 1, Bernhardt 1). Total fouls — L 17, P 24. Fouled out — L: Gates.