PLATTEVILLE — Senior Donovan Blevins scored the game’s first basket, but spent most of the rest of the first half of Saturday night’s WIAA Division 3 regional final on the bench as a spectator after picking up his second foul just a minute later.
It didn’t really matter as sophomore Cade Rohrbach and junior Trey Bartels picked up the offensive slack in Blevins’ absence while the Platteville’s defense stymied visiting River Valley, holding the Blackhawks to 12 first-half points while building a 16-point halftime lead.
A well-rested Blevins played the role of closer, taking out his foul trouble frustrations out on the helpless Blackhawks with a second-half scoring flury, finishing the night with a game-high 21 points as the Hillmen closed out a dominating 57–39 to clinch Platteville’s second-straight regional title.
Blevins final basket of the night, a turnaround right hand hook shot along the baseline with 2:44 remaining pushed the standout senior over the 1,000-point mark for his career, giving him 1,001. He is just the fourth Platteville boy to eclipse the 1,000-point mark, joining all-time leading scorer Jim Lawinger (1964–67), Doug Knutson (1962–65) and Will Ryan (1994–97).
Huser immediately called timeout and Blevins was mobbed by teammates as he departed the game. The crowd erupted as hundreds of “1000” signs popped up in the Platteville parent and student sections in celebration of the achievement.
“It was great that Donovan could get his 1,000 career point in front of the home fans and in that type of setting,” said Platteville head coach Huser. “He has played so well for us for three years and it is a tribute to the time he has put in to be able to accomplish that type of a milestone. Donovan would be the first to thank his teammates, both current and former, as he is a humble young man. What was really cool to see was how excited his teammates and our fans were for him. It was a memorable moment to say the least.”
Rohrbach scored all 10 of his points as Platteville jumped out to a 28–12 halftime lead. He also added five assists and four rebounds. Bartels scored seven points in the first half and finished with 11 points and five rebounds. Junior Isaiah Oswald added seven points and four boards for the winners.
Platteville advances to face Edgerton in a WIAA D3 sectional semifinal Thursday night at Oregon at 7 p.m.
The Crimson Tide (19–5) won its regional title with a 61–48 victory over Lodi Saturday night. Edgerton, which tied for second in the Rock Valley South, is a defensive minded-team similar to Platteville that is allowing just 51.7 points per game. Senior guard/forward Jacob Fox averages 15.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game to lead the Tide.
“Edgerton is a really well-coached, disciplined basketball team,” said Huser. “They have similar personnel to our team and with the style of play they execute we will have to be at our best. They have an outstanding record and have been consistent all season. In looking at the match up, it would appear to be very even as would be expected this time of year. It is exciting to be going back to the sectionals and being able to continue to participate in the WIAA tournament this deep into March.”
Rohrbach was the hero of Friday night’s 75–44 regional semifinal victory over Richland Center. He scored 17 of his career-high 27 points in the first half to give the shorthanded handed Hillmen a narrow 29–26 lead.
Blevins, who missed much of the first half Friday as well, dominated in the second half and finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and three steals, as Platteville outscored the Hornets 46–19 in the final 18 minutes.
WIAA Division 3 Regional Semifinal
No. 1 Platteville 75, No. 8 Richland Center 44
(from Friday, March 2 @ Platteville)
Richland Center 25 19 — 44
Platteville 29 46 — 75
Richland Center (11–13) — Jeron Johnson 8, Rory Schultz 5, Devon Schmitz 13, Reighly Schultz 8, Keon Miller 6, Jacob Schauf 3, Trey Mohr 1. Totals — 13 12-20 44.
Platteville (18–5) — Andy Eggers 9, Donovan Blevins 15, Austin Wein 2, Cade Rohrbach 27, Brock Schambow 2, Isaiah Oswald 2, Gabe Tashner 2, Zach White 5, Connor Riley 4, Trey Bartels 5, Osaze King . Totals — 32-58 5-13 75.
3-point goals — RC: 6 (Johnson 2, Rory Schultz 1, Schmitz 1, Reighly Schultz 2), P: 6 (Eggers 3, Blevins 1, Rohrbach 1, White 1). Total fouls — RC: 14, P: 19. Fouled out — none.
WIAA Division 3 Regional Final
No. 1 Platteville 57, No. 5 River Valley 39
(from Saturday, March 3 @ Platteville)
River Valley 12 27 — 39
Platteville 28 29 — 57
River Valley (12–13) — Bailey Amble 3, Brett Nachreiner 11, Brandon Feiner 5, Ben Fortney 6, Connor Mickelson 5, Josh Maier 5, Will Jewell 4. Totals — 10 16-25.
Platteville (19–5) — Andy Eggers 3, Donovan Blevins 21, Cade Rohrbach 10, Brock Schambow 2, Isaiah Oswald 7, Connor Riley 3, Trey Bartels 11. Totals — 23 8-17 57.
3-point goals — RV: 3 (Amble 1, Feiner 1, Maier 1), P: 3 (Eggers 1, Blevins 1, Oswald 1). Total fouls — RV: 18, P: 20. Fouled out — none.