With the head coach battling a severe bout with the flu over the weekend, Platteville assistant coach Shane Reuter led the Hillmen to a pair of victories over River Valley and Darlington.
Reuter got a big assist from senior point guard Derek Schambow, who had a team-high 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds in Friday’s 55–43 Senior Night victory over River Valley, then posted a near triple–double of 17 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to go along with five steals in Saturday’s 71–46 non-conference demolition of Darlington.
In Friday’s win over Valley Reuter did a magnificent job of handling substitutions, changing defenses and finding ways to break down the Blackhawks’ 2–3 zone anchored by 6-foot-8 Brandon Gilbeck.
“Shane did a tremendous job,” said Huser in a phone interview Monday after reviewing game tape. “He, [assistant coaches] Bill Wagner and Trevor Kattre all did a fantastic job of stepping in and leading our program to a pair of nice wins. The kids also did a really good job of taking upon themselves to go out and take care of business in both games.”
Huser, who came down with the illness Friday, informed his assistant coaches around 4 p.m. that he just wasn’t well enough to be on the bench for that night’s game.
Platteville jumped out to an 11–4 first-quarter lead on baskets by seniors William Cooley, Logan Butson and Adam Broley, a 3-pointer by fellow senior Tanner Ames and a pair of free throws by Brogley.
Schambow, the fifth starter in Platteville’s all-senior starting five Friday night, buried a triple early in the second quarter to make it 14–4.
With River Valley content to sit back in its 2–3 zone Reuter took the air out of the ball and Platteville was content moving the ball around the perimeter, milking time while looking for a high-percentage shot.
Junior Chance Kupersmith converted a 3-point play with 1:19 left in the half ending a near six-minute scoring drought by both teams as Platteville took a 17–9 lead into halftime.
Valley went to a man-to-man defense after halftime and the pace of the game quickened.
Carson Stoddard hit a 3-pointer, scored on a drive then made 1 of 2 from the free throw line all in the first three minutes of the third quarter to tie the game at 17–17. But Platteville didn’t flinch.
Schambow broke the tie with a free throw, then swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Ames scored back-to-back layups to make it 26–21 at the 1:57 mark of the quarter, then after a Ryan Weber putback, drilled his second triple of the game on an inbound play to push the Platteville lead to eight at 31–23.
Junior Jesse Gardner capped the 17–8 Hillmen run with a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the quarter.
River Valley pulled within eight early in the fourth quarter at 37–29 on a Gilbeck layup, but Platteville converted 14 of 17 free throws in the fourth quarter to salt away the win.
Ames finished the game with 12 points. Brogley added eight points and eight rebounds, while Kupersmith finished with six points and six boards.
Platteville jumped out to a 17–2 first quarter lead in Saturday’s non-conference game at Darlington and never looked back. Schambow, Cooley and Brogley all hit 3-pointers in the first quarter, and the Hillmen actually led by as much as 24–2 before the Redbirds (11–11) made their second basket of the game.
Kupersmith tallied 13 points in the win, while Brogley added 12 points and six rebounds. Cooley chipped in 10 points.
The Hillmen finished the regular season 9–12 and opened the WIAA Division 2 playoffs Tuesday night at No. 4 seeded Dodgeville (11–11). With a win Platteville will travel to Madison Edgewood on Friday for a regional semifinal game.
Platteville 55, River Valley 43
(from Friday, Feb. 21 @ Platteville)
River Valley 4 5 16 18 — 43
Platteville 11 6 17 21 — 55
River Valley (13–8, 6–4) — DeVita 6, Stoddard 20, Caraway 7, Kinney 2, Gavreau 2, Gilbeck 6. Totals — 16 7-10 43.
Platteville (8–12, 4–6) — Ryan Weber 2, Derek Schambow 15, Tanner Ames 12, Logan Butson 4, Jesse Gardner 3, William Cooley 4, Blake Wagner 1, Chance Kupersmith 6, Adam Brogley 8. Totals — 15 20-28 55.
3-point goals — RV: 4 (Stoddard 3, Caraway 1): P: 5 (Schambow 2, Ames 2, Gardner 1). Team fouls — RV: 20, P: 11. Fouled out — RV: DeVita.
Platteville 71, Darlington 46
(from Saturday, Feb. 22 @ Darlington)
Platteville 17 14 16 24 — 71
Darlington 2 16 10 18 — 46
Platteville (9–12) — Ryan Weber 4, Derek Schambow 17, Tanner Ames 4, Logan Butson 4, William Cooley 10, Blake Wagner 7, Chance Kupersmith 13, Adam Brogley 12. Totals — 29 7-9 71.
Darlington (11–11) — Cody Hardyman 9, Cade Hardyman 6, Weigel 4, Siegenthaler 4, McDonald 12, Muhlstein 6, Erickson 5. Totals — 16 5-10 46.
3-point goals — P: 6 (Schambow 1, Cooley 2, Wagner 1, Brogley 20; D: (Cody Hardyman 3, Cade Hardyman 1, McDonald 4, Erickson 1). Team fouls — P: 12, D: 15. Fouled out — none.