RICHLAND CENTER — Pressure didn’t bother Coach Brandon Temperly’s Platteville girls basketball team.
A week after suffering a six-point home loss to Prairie du Chien to force a first-place tie with Richland Center, the Hillmen played perhaps their best game of the season when the stakes were highest.
Platteville dominated the Hornets on their home court with a superb defensive effort scoring a lop-sided 60–37 victory to close out the regular season Thursday night and win the outright Southwest Wisconsin Conference title.
The game was a complete flip of the script from the first meeting between the two schools, when Richland Center handed Platteville an 80–64 loss at PHS on Jan. 14.
“We were able to stay out of foul trouble this time around and that allowed us to execute our game plan,” said Temperly. “Our girls did a phenomenal job defensively. We held their key players well below their scoring averages. Lexi Budden, Brelynn Updike, Rachel Emendorfer, Claire Tashner, Skye Digman, and Allison Woodworth took turns rotating on the three best players and they did fantastic job. The rest of our team brought it defensively and we were able to frustrate them throughout the night. I am very proud of the team defense we played [Thursday]. It truly was a team effort.”
Platteville held senior Brooke Peterson and sophomore Madison Rizner to just nine points each. Peterson scored a team-high 24 points in the first meeting and Rizner added 21. The Hillmen also held junior guard Brooklyn Liegel to just six points before she fouled out late in the second half.
Senior Sierra Brecke scored 12 of her game-high 19 points in the second half as the Hillmen pulled away in the final 20 minutes.
Digman added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the winners. Emendorfer chipped in nine points, including a pair of back-breaking 3-pointers midway through the second half to squash a RC run. Woodworth finished with seven points.
The Hillmen finished the regular season 15–7 overall and won the SWC title with an 8–2 mark. It is only the second conference title in the 40-year history of Platteville girls basketball program. Platteville won the SWC title three years ago in 2012–13. The Hornets (13–9) finished second at 7–3.
“This is an accomplishment that this group of girls can keep with them forever,” said Temperly. “This has also set a great foundation for the girls coming up in our program. There have been many hours of hard work put in by a lot of people and it is great to see the pay off with a championship.”
The Hillmen had a first-round bye when the WIAA Division 3 playoffs began Tuesday night. They will now host either seventh-seeded River Valley (9–12) or 10th-seeded Wautoma (6–13) Friday at 7 p.m.
Mount Horeb 56, Platteville 50
(from Tuesday, Feb. 16 @ Mount Horeb)
Platteville 20 30 — 50
Mount Horeb 22 34 — 56
Platteville (14–7) — Lexi Budden 7, Brelynn Updike 2, Claire Tashner 8, Rachel Emendorfer 3, Sierra Brecke 21, Skye Digman 10. Totals — 19 8-8 50.
Mount Horeb (7–14) — Sydney King 9, Jessica Fisher 7, Abby Epping 11, Mackenzie Geisler 1, Gabby Coulthard 8, Nikki Arneson 20. Totals – 19 11-15 56.
3-point goals — P: 4 (Brecke 3, Emendorfer 1); MH: 7 (Arneson 3, Coulthard 1, Epping 1, Fisher 1, King 1). Total fouls — P: 20, MH: 11. Fouled out — none.
Platteville 60, Richland Center 37
(from Thursday, Feb. 18 @ Rich. Center)
Platteville 18 42 — 60
Richland Center 11 26 — 37
Platteville (15–7, 8–2) — Lexi Budden 4, Brelynn Updike 2, Claire Tashner 4, Rachel Emendorfer 9, Sami Brookens 2, Alison Woodworth 7, Sierra Brecke 19, Skye Digman 13. Totals — 18 22-37 60.
Richland Center (13–9, 7–3) — Erving 2, Morgan Rizner 9, Kinney 2, Brooklyn Leigel 6, Schauf 3, Schultz 6, Brooke Peterson 9. Totals – 12 9-25 37.
3-point goals — P: 2 (Emendorfer 2); RC: 4 (Liegel 1, Schauf 1, Schultz 2). Total fouls — P: 19, RC: 28. Fouled out — RC: Kinney, Liegel.