By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism. Boys Dream Tournament: South Regional
1981 Cuba City Cubans earn top seed in the South Regional
1981 Cuba City
Led by back-to-back Southern 8 MVP's Bill Wagner and John Tranel, coach Jerry Petitgoue's 1981 Cuba City Cubans went 24–1 and won the Class B state champion with a 52–47 victory over Ladysmith. The Cubans also went a perfect 14-0 in league play, which included a pair of victories over 1981 Class C state champion Iowa–Grant, to win a Southern 8 Conference title,

EDITOR'S NOTE: The SW Wisconsin Dream Tournament is 68-team March Madness-style high school basketball tournament (for both boys and girls), consisting of the greatest teams in Southwest Wisconsin history, since 1960.

We introduced the boys' bracket and teams in our area newspapers April 8-9 and 15-16. We introduced the girls' bracket and teams April 22-23 and 29-30. Beginning this week (May 6-7), with the boys' first-round selections, we will pick the winners for each round in our newspapers, until we crown the All-Time champions for both tournaments. We will publish the girls' first-round winners next week (May 13-14).

Below are the team capsules for the boys teams in the South Regional.

1) 1981 Cuba City

1981 Class B state champion
Coach: Jerry Petitgoue
Record: 24-1, 14-0 Southern 8 champion
Tournament run: The #5-ranked Cubans defeated Darlington 61-42, Platteville 58-48 and Prairie du Chien 74-54 in the regional final at UW–Platteville, then defeated McFarland 72-49, Portage 40-33 at sectionals, defeated Shorewood 61-44 in a state semifinal and Ladysmith 52-47 to capture the Class B state crown.
Key Players: 
     Bill Wagner (Sr.) 16.6 ppg, 1981 Southern 8 MVP, 1st-team All-Southern 8, Class B All-State Tournament team; scored 23 points and tallied a Class B best 17 rebounds and seven assists in helping the Cubans earn their first-ever state title.
     John Tranel (Sr.) 10.7 ppg, 1st-team All-Southern 8, Class B All-State Tournament team; 1980 Southern 8 MVP, scored a Class B best 42 points and matched his teammate with 17 rebounds during the state tournament
     Greg Timmerman (Sr.) 9.4 ppg, 1st-team All-Southern 8 pick, Class B All-State Tournament team, had 16 points, 16 rebounds at state
     Jeff Shaffer (Sr.) 4 ppg, 1st-team All-Southern 8  
     Casey Beinborn (Jr.) honorable mention All-Southern 8
Dynasty Note: Cuba City went 16-4 and 13-1 to win the 1980 Southern 8 conference title; lost on a buzzer beater to Prairie du Chien 45-43 in a regional semifinal.

2) 1990 Darlington

1990 Class C state champion
Coach: Michael Hopkins
Record: 26-1, 12-0 SWAL 2 champion
Tournament run: The #4-ranked Redbirds battled through a pair of tough local foes topping Black Hawk 49-42 in double OT in a regional semifinal contest, and then Shullsburg 57-54 in the regional final. The ‘Birds downed Albany 71-59 and Randolph, 74-71 in sectional play, to earn the program’s first-ever state berth, then defeated Pittsville 65-59 and Eleva–Strum 58-44 to capture Darlington’s only state championship crown in basketball.
Key Players: 
     Aaron Lancaster (Sr.) 19 ppg, 10 rpg, 5 apg, SWAL 2 co-Player of the Year, 1st-team All-SWAL, AP third-team All-State, averaged 26.5 ppg at state, was a member of Bo Ryan’s UW–Platteville NCAA DIII national championship team in 1994-95.
     Lew Hesseling (Sr.) 16.8 ppg, 1st-team All-SWAL 2, went on to have a standout career at DIII Edgewood College.
     Jeff Somerville (Sr.) 1st-team All-SWAL 2, Darlington’s lock down defender, 7 ppg at state
     Denny Miller (Sr.) honorable mention All-SWAL 2
     Daryl Bell (Sr.) 
Dynasty Note: The 1989 Redbirds went 17-8 (8-4 3rd in SWAL 2), set a then program record for wins and reached the Class C regional finals a year earlier.

3) 1998 Cuba City

1998 Division 3 state champion
Coach: Jerry Petitgoue
Record: 24-2, 11-1 SWAL 1 champion
Tournament run: The #5-ranked Cubans defeated Brodhead, Evansville 79-65, Orfordville–Parkview 65-42 at regionals, then Wisconsin Heights 74-65 and West Salem 66-42 at sectionals, then beat Amherst 73-61 in a D3 state semifinal in the first high school boys basketball game played at the Kohl Center. Cuba City beat Phillips 75-67 in the D3 state championship to win the program’s third state title.
Key Players: 
     Matt Schultz (Sr.) 19.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.4 apg, SWAL 1 Player of the Year, 1st-team All-SWAL 1, AP honorable mention All-State, went on to play D3 college basketball at UW–La Crosse
     Tim Cummins (Sr.) 16.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1st-team All-SWAL 1, went on to play at UW–Platteville
     Eric Mueller (Sr.) 14 ppg, 5.8 rpg honorable mention All-SWAL 1
     Chris McCabe (Sr.) 7.5 ppg, honorable mention All-SWAL 1
     Nate Droessler (Sr.) 2.7 ppg
     Matt Eggers (So.) 4.8 rpg, 4.4 rpg
     Travis Runde (Jr.) 2.9 ppg
     Brett Runde (Jr.) 2.7 ppg

4) 2015 Mineral Point 

2015 Division 4 state runner-up
Coach: Dan Burreson
Record: 27-1, 14-0 SWAL champion
Tournament run: After a first-round bye, defeated Iowa–Grant 69-53 and Cuba City 65-56 in regional play, then Deerfield 64-48 and Melrose–Mindoro 58-55 to win the sectional crown. The Pointers then beat Auburndale 66-59 in a D4 state semifinal before falling to #1 Whitefish Bay Dominican 75-49 in the D4 championship.
Key Players: 
     Sy Staver (Sr.) 14.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.2 apg, SWAL Player of the Year, 1st-team All-SWAL, WBCA D4 1st-team All-State, WBCA D4 All-Star went on to play D3 college basketball at Edgewood College
     Tarek Oellerich (Sr.) 13.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1st-team All-SWAL
     Alex Schmitz (Sr.) 12.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1st-team All-SWAL
     Turner Poad (Sr.) 10.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4 apg, 1st-team All-SWAL
     Joey Gorgan (Sr.) 7.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, honorable mention All-SWAL
Dynasty Note: Burreson’s junior-dominated Pointers, with help from senior Trevor Wendhausen went 24-1, 14-0 in the SWAL and advanced to the 2014 sectional semifinals before falling to Cuba City 69-64.

5) 2017 Shullsburg

2017 Division 5 state runner-up
Coach: Mark Lierman
Record: 26-3, 12-0 Six Rivers West champion
Tournament run: The Miners defeated Riverdale 72-22, Benton 63-38 and Highland 55-51 in regional play, then downed Seneca 60-58 and Bangor 60-58 to win a sectional title and earn the program’s first state berth in 26 years. Shullsburg then defeated Chippewa Falls McDonell Central 63-43 in a D5 state semifinal before ending the season with a 58-28 loss to Barneveld in the D5 title game.
Key Players: 
     Hunter Matye (Sr.) 13.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.9 spg, SRW Player of the Year, 1st-team All-SRW, went on to play college football at Loras
     Joey Meyer (Sr.) 13.9 ppg, 5 rpg, 1st-team All-SRW, currently plays at D2 Minnesota–Crookston
     Noah Wand (Sr.) 11.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2nd-team All-SRW, currently plays at D3 Madison Edgwood
     Lance Lierman (Sr.) 6.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2nd-team All-SRW
     Jeremiah Bailey (Sr.) 6.3 ppg, 4 rpg
     Cameron Doyle (Sr.) 4.1 ppg, 
Dynasty Note: Matye, Meyer and Wand led Lierman’s Miners to a 20-5 mark and a 10-2 conference title in 2016, and as sophomores, with the help of senior point guard Brett Matye, went 24-3, won another SRW title and advanced to the D5 sectional finals.

6) 2003 Seneca 

2003 Division 4 state runner-up
Coach: Dave Boland
Record: 23-4, 13-1 Ridge & Valley champion
Tournament run: Defeated Wauzeka–Steuben 52-31, De Soto 62-35 and Cassville 44-25 regionals, then Benton 50-23 and Blair-Taylor 49-46 in sectionals to earn a second-straight trip to state. Seneca defeated Northwood 47-44 in the state semis, before a 63-37 loss to #1-ranked Randolph in the championship.
Key Players: 
     Brian Trautsch (Sr.) 16.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1st-team All-R&V
     Dustin Ray (Sr.) 13.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1st-team All-R&V
     Grant Varo (Sr.) 9.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1st-team All-R&V
     Troy Boylen (Sr.) 4.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg
     Ed Oppriecht (Sr.) 2 ppg, 2.6 rpg
     Elijah Bark (Jr.)  5.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Dynasty Note: Seneca went a perfect 25-0 in 2002 until a WIAA D4 state semifinal loss to eventual champion and top-ranked Randolph 53-43. The 2002 and 2003 Randolph teams featured future Wisconsin Badger and NBA player Greg and future UW–Green Bay three-year starter Ryan Tillema. The seniors had three-straight 20-win seasons.

7) 1989 Iowa-Grant 

1989 Class C state qualifier
Coach: Steve Randall
Record: 25-1, 12-0 SWAL 2 champion
Tournament run: The #2-ranked Panthers defeated West Grant 94-70, Potosi 74-59, Shullsburg 77-64 and #1-ranked Bloomington 83-74 to win the regional title, then beat La Farge 75-46 and Fall Creek 80-64 at sectionals, before losing to undefeated Glenwood City 81-79 in the Class C state semifinals.
Key Players: 
     Lance Randall (Sr.) 15.2 ppg, 1st-team All-SWAL 2, went on to play D3 college basketball at Beloit College where he was a two-time all-conference selection, current head coach at NAIA St. Leo University (Fla.) 
     Greg Slack (Sr.) 14.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1st-team All-SWAL 2
     Dan Prochaska (Sr.) 13.7 ppg, 1st-team All-SWAL 2
     Mike Eggers (Sr.) 12.5 ppg 12.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1st-team All-SWAL 2
     Jason Biddick (Sr.) 9 ppg, honorable mention SWAL 2
     Shawn Dailey (Sr.) 10.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg off the bench, honorable mention SWAL 2
     Adam Haas (Sr.) 5 ppg, honorable mention SWAL 2
     Greg Gard (Sr.) went on to win four NCAA DIII national titles as an assistant coach under Bo Ryan at UW–Platteville and eventually became the head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. He was named the 2020 Big 10 Coach of they Year.
Dynasty Note: The 1988 Panthers went 18-6 (9-3 SWAL 2) and reached the Class C regional finals before losing to Southwestern 76-68.

8) 1999 North Crawford 

1999 Division 3 state qualifier
Coach: Gary Hines
Record: 24-2, 14-0 Ridge & Valley champion
Tournament run: The #3-ranked Trojans defeated Lancaster 74-56, River Ridge 55-44, and Boscobel 53-49 in regionals, then Reedsville 64-62 and Altoona 91-81 at sectionals, before a 63-59 loss to eventual D3 champion Park Falls (27-0) in the state semifinals.
Key Players: 
     Roman Chestleson (Sr.) 23.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, R&V Player of the Year, 1st-team All-R&V, AP 4th-team All-State, WBCA All-Star

     Brendan Dillon (Sr.) 16.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1st-team All-R&V, WBCA All-Star
     Ryan O’Donnell (Sr.) 13.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg 1st-team All-R&V
     Bjorn Unseth (Sr.) 2.3 ppg, 3 rpg, honorable mention All-R&V 
     Ben Quamme (Jr.) 3.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg
     Garrett Harden (So.) 4 ppg, 2.3 rpg
     Chase Campbell (Sr.) 2.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg
Dynasty Note: Chestelson, Dillon and O’Donnell, along with senior Luke Showen (1998 R&V MVP), led the 1998 to Trojans to a 20-3 record, 13-1 conference champs, but were upset in the D4 regional finals by Ithaca 80-78. 

9) 1991 Cassville

1991 Division 4 state qualifier
Coach: Dennis Uppena
Record: 21-5, 13-3 2nd in Blackhawk
Tournament run: The Comet defeated Wauzeka, Bloomington 67-63 and Highland 75-64 at regionals, then Kickapoo 78-67 and Independence 65-54 to win a sectional title, before falling to Spring Valley 89-82 in the D4 state semifinals.
Key Players: 
     Mike Uppena (Sr.) 27.6 ppg, 13.5 rpg, 1st-team All-Blackhawk and  WIAA All-Tournament team, played college basketball at UW–Platteville, winning a D3 National Championship under Bo Ryan in 1995, son of coach Dennis Uppena
     Brian Koopman (Jr.) 11 ppg, 8 rpg, 1st-team All-Blackhawk
     Josh Vogt (Sr.) 11 ppg     

     Chad Infield (Fr.) 8 ppg, averaged 17 ppg in WIAA tournament play
     Nate Harris (Sr.) 6 ppg, 6 apg
Dynasty Note: Coach Uppena, along with Koopman and Infield, led Cassville to a D4 state runner-up title the following season, and Infield was a crucial piece of Cassville’s D4 state runner-up team in 1993 and the state championship team in 1994.

10) 1993 Albany

1993 Division 4 state qualifier
Coach: Mickey Martin
Record: 18-7, 13-5 2nd in the State Line League behind Holy Name
Tournament run: The Comets received a first-round bye, then defeated Deerfield and Williams Bay to win the regional title, then beat Barneveld and Kohler to win the sectional crown and advance to state. The season ended with a 65-63 loss to eventual D4 champion Wausaukee and Wisconsin’s all-time leading scorer and future D1 Marquette star Anthony Pieper in the D4 state semifinals.
Key Players: 
     Mike Armitage (Sr.) 14 ppg, 1st-team All-SLL
     Mark Zurfluh (Jr.) 12.1 ppg, 5.5 apg, 1st-team All-SLL
     Adam Kopp (Sr.) 10.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg
     Joe LaPoint (Sr.) 10.5 ppg
     Ethan Schultz (Sr.) 9.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg
     Lonnie Hauge (Sr.) 7.5 ppg
     Eric Stalter (Sr.)

11) 2020 Wauzeka–Steuben

2020 Division 5 sectional finalist (season cancelled)
Coach: Gary Hines
Record: 22-3, 14-0 Ridge & Valley champion
Tournament run: The #6-ranked Hornets defeated Weston 46-27, Shullsburg 72-24 and Benton 55-36 in regionals, then defeated Potosi 53-44 in a sectional semifinal before the sectional final game against #2-ranked Bangor, and the rest of the WIAA postseason, was cancelled due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Key Players: 
     Carter Lomas (Sr.) 22.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg, R&V Player of the Year, 1st-team All-R&V, WBCA D5 first-team All-State, committed to play D2 college basketball at Winona State (Minn.)
     Gavin Ralph (Jr.) 17 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1st-team All-R&V, WBCA honorable mention All-State
     Jake Reichmann (Sr.) 10.7 ppg, 6 rpg, 1st-team All-R&V
     Caydon Lomas (So.) 2.8 ppg
     Isaac Reichmann (Jr.) 2.6 ppg
     Gerett Kapinus (Jr.) 2.4 ppg
     Jonah Reichmann (So.) 2.2 ppg
Dynasty Note: Lomas and Ralph led the Hornets to a 22-2 (14-0 R&V) record in 2019 and 20-5 (11-3 R&V) mark in 2018 and help the team reach the regional finals both seasons.

12) 2000 Boscobel

2000 Division 3 sectional runner-up
Coach: Bill Bare
Record: 22-3, 10-2 SWAL 2 tri-champion
Tournament run: Defeated North Crawford 41-39, Riverdale 52-34 and Iowa-Grant 43-35 in regionals, then beat Royall 47-40 before losing to Marshall 65-47 in the D3 sectional finals
Key Players: 
     Craig Molldrem (Sr.) 18 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1st-team All-SWAL 2, went on to play D1 baseball at Minnesota and later D2 Minnesota-Duluth, was drafted in the 8th round of the 2004 MLB draft by the Florida Marlins
     Russ Hill (Jr.) 8.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3 bpg, 1st-team All-SWAL 2
     Jeff Vorwald (Sr.) 8 ppg, 2 rpg, 1st-team All-SWAL 2
     Skyler Reynolds (Sr.) 7.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, honorable mention SWAL 2
     Brian Kerschner (Jr.) 5 ppg, 4 rpg, honorable mention SWAL 2
Dynasty Note: Molldrem, Vorwald and Reynolds, teamed with seniors Travis Harris, Ben Richter and Ryan Von Haden a year earlier to lead the 98-99 Bulldogs to a 19-5 mark, a share of the SWAL 2 title and a berth in the D3 regional finals before losing to eventual state qualifier North Crawford.

12) 1977 Richland Center

1977 Class B sectional runner-up
Coach: Dennis Morgan
Record: 17-4, 10-3 SWAL runner-up
Tournament run: The Hornets defeated Holmen 45-44 and Royall in regionals, then Waunakee in the Class B sectional semifinal before losing to SWAL rival Prairie du Chien in the sectional final, 74-70, after splitting with the Blackhawks during the regular season (winning by 19 at early in the season RC and losing in OT at PdC). This was Richland Center’s last sectional qualifier.
Key Players: 
     Craig Kraft (Sr.) 1st-team All-SWAL
     Jay Utley (Sr.) 1st-team All-SWAL
     Randy Wallace (Sr.) honorable mention All-SWAL
     Steve Deets (Sr.)
     Barney Sheafor (Sr.)
     Leroy Stahl (Fr.) didn’t play varsity as a freshman until an ankle injury to Wallace in the sectional semifinals forced Stahl into action.
Dynasty Note: Led by the 6’7” Stahl, who finished his career as the Hornets’ all-time leading scorer, and 6’6” Steve Stewart, Morgan’s 1979 and 1980 teams won SWAL titles.

13) 1997 Fennimore

1997 Div. 4 sectional qualifier
Coach: Mark Fifrick
Record: 20-4, 11-1 SWAL II champion
Tournament run: The #8-ranked Eagles defeated Riverdale 57-34, New Lisbon 90-78, and Lancaster 67-55 to win a D3 regional title before ending the season with an 70-59 loss to eventual state qualifier Westby in a sectional semifinal.
Key Players: 
     Kevin Carp (Jr.) 20 ppg, 5 rpg, 3.5 apg, SWAL 2 tri-Player of the Year, 1st-team All-SWAL II, 2018 WBCA All-Star and honorable mention all-state as a senior in 1998, played at D2 UW–Parkside
     Nate Wood (Sr.) 15 ppg, 1st-team All-SWAL 2, played at D2 Moorhead State (Minn.)
     Jim Feldhacker (Jr.) 8.5 ppg, honorable mention All-SWAL 2, went on to play D3 college football at UW–Platteville
     Preston Forthun (Sr.) 8 ppg, honorable mention All-SWAL 2
     Luke Stivarius (Sr.) 3.5 ppg
     Derek Furrer (So.) 8 ppg 
Dynasty Note: Carp, Feldhacker and Furrer led the 1998 Eagles to another 20-4 season, another SWAL 2 title and return to the D3 sectional semifinals.

14) 2004 Belmont

2004 Division 4 sectional qualifier
Coach: Jeff Hodgson
Record: 20-3, 14-0 Six Rivers West champion
Tournament run: Following a first-round bye, the Braves defeated Barneveld, 68-36, and Pecatonica, 59-37, in D4 regional play. Lost to Monticello, 57-55, in sectional semifinal action.
Key Players: 
     Brady Buchs (Sr.) 17.4 ppg, 11 rpg, 1.7 spg, SRW Co-Player of the Year, 1st-team All-SRW, AP honorable mention All-State, played one year at UW–Platteville
     John Keyes (Sr.) 2nd-team All-SRW, 9.1 ppg, 4.1 apg, 2.6 spg, 2nd-team All-SRW 
     Kevin Frontz (Sr.) 9 ppg, 6 rpg, 2.6 spg, honorable mention All-SRW
     Travis Mester (Jr.) 9.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, honorable mention All-SRW
     Ryan Klein (Sr.) 1.6 ppg, 3 rpg honorable mention All-SRW
     Kyle Klein (Jr.) 4.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg
     Elliott Gaulke (So.) 4 ppg,
Dynasty Note: The 2003 Braves went 16-6 and tied for the SRW title. The 2005 Braves went 20-5 and reached the D4 sectional semifinals, losing to Catholic Central 50-37 and Mester was named the SRW Player of the Year.

15) 2014 Cassville

2014 Division 5 sectional qualifier
Coach: Dennis Uppena
Record: 24-2, 11-1 Six Rivers West champion
Tournament run: The #2-ranked Comets defeated Highland 49-44, Pecatonica 57-40 and North Crawford 39-27 regionals, then lost to Barneveld 43-37 in a D5 sectional semifinal.
Key Players: 

     Ty Kartman (Sr.) 22.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.8 spg, SRW Player of the Year, 1st-team All-SRW, WBCA D5 first-team All-State. Played college basketball at NAIA Clarke University.
     Cole Adams (Sr.) 7.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.1 spg, 1st-team All-SRW
     Ryan Kirschbaum (Sr.) 10.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg. 2nd-team All-SRW
     Elijah Okey (Sr.) 6.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, honorable mention SRW
     Hunter Nix (Jr.) 5.3 ppg
Dynasty Note: The Comets, with the help of foreign exchange student Sebastian Apers (2013 SRW Player of the Year) went 22-4 and reached the D5 sectional semifinals in 2012-13

16) 1996 Richland Center

1996 Division 2 regional runner-up
Coach: Jamie Johnson
Record: 20-2, 11-1 SWAL I champion
Tournament run: After a first-round bye, and a regional semifinal victory, Richland Center’s season ended with a D2 regional final loss to Portage 65-56 at Wisconsin Dells.
Key Players: 
     Merrill Brunson (Sr.) 20 ppg, SWAL I Player of the Year, 1st-team All-SWAL I, WBCA All-Star, 1,000-point career scorer, went to play college basketball (and baseball) at UW–Platteville where he helped Bo Ryan’s Pioneers win back-to-back NCAA D3 national championship in 1998 and 1999,  was named the D3 Final Four MVP and D3 National Player of the Year in 1999 as a junior, also played D3 college baseball for the Pioneers
     Brian Puls (Jr.) 22 ppg, 1st-team All-SWAL I, 1,000-point career scorer, went on to play at D2 Winona State
     Chad Wilson (Sr.) 
     Benji Johnson (Sr.)
     Zach Freeman (Sr.) 
     Dan Kaukl (Sr.)