Sean Borgerding shoots for his career 1000 points. Photo by Jon Tanberg
Sean Borgerding shoots for his career 1000 points. Photo by Jon Tanberg

SPRING VALLEY, WI – It was a bittersweet week for the Spring Valley boys’ basketball team as they topped Plum City-Elmwood in a historic game on Friday night before falling to Eau Claire Regis on Saturday night in the regional championship game in the WIAA Tournament.

The Cardinals opened their WIAA tournament with a first round bye, giving them a little extra time to prepare for the winner of the Boyceville and Plum City/Elmwood game last Tuesday night. Plum City/Elmwood got the win and the Cardinals knew their foe.

Valley came out slow, allowing PC/E to forge a slight lead, but the Cardinals regrouped enroute to a 36-21 halftime lead.

Senior Zach Boisen hit a milestone midway through the first half when he sank a three-pointer to notch his 500th career point, but he wasn’t the only Cardinal to hit it big on the night.

Fellow senior Sean Borgerding was 17 points away from an even bigger milestone. He was hot from the field in the first half and had 15 points by the intermission. Early in the second half he hit his 17th point to hit the 1000 point mark for his career.

Shortly after that celebration a third senior, Patrick Cipriano, notched his 500th career point as well, making it a whole night of milestones worth celebrating as the Cardinals easily won the regional semifinal game 82-56.

“All three of them have worked extremely hard on their shooting for the last few years,” said Head Coach Rob Bosshart of their accomplishments. “They've spent countless hours coming to the gym before school, after school and during the summer months to earn the success that they've enjoyed - both individually and as a team. They've also earned the confidence from their coaches that they are going to make good decisions and execute when we need it.

“Even more than that, they've set a great example for our younger guys on what it means to be committed to a sport and what it takes to reach your potential as a player. I hope that the underclassmen take these lessons to heart and follow in the path that they've been shown.”

Borgerding put himself in rare company by joining the 1,000 point club. He  joined Reece Keehr, Cory Kreibich, , Marc Johnson, Tom Sauve, Ryan Stangl, and Tyler Bosshart in the Spring Valley 1000 Point Club. “It's an outstanding accomplishment and ought to be celebrated by the entire team because they have played a significant role in helping each player reach that milestone,” Bosshart said. “I know Sean would be the first one to say how much his teammates helped him reach that. It’s the way this group of players are, completely unselfish, pushing each other, always encouraging every player in the program from seniors to ball boys. This group has done a lot for this program and I can’t thank them enough.”

For the night, the Cardinals had four players reach double digits in scoring with Sean Borgerding leading the way with 23 points. Cipriano and freshman point guard Aaron Borgerding had 18 points each and Boisen finished with 13 points.

Sean Borgerding was humble in his accomplishment, as is his style.

“Scoring that 1,000th point was a pretty special feeling! It was rewarding to know that all of the work I put in during the season and offseason was worth it,” the senior said. “I do have to give me teammates a lot of credit as without them I would not have been able to reach the milestone I did. My teammates unselfishness to pass me the ball to set me up for opportunities to score along with always pushing each other day in and day out in practice. I also have to give a big thanks to the coaches for pushing me throughout my career and never letting me settle for anything less than my best.”

Senior Sam Hoyt led a trio of Wolves in double digits in scoring with 14 points. Fellow seniors Connor Heinrichs and Anthony Ebensperger had 13 and 11 points each respectively in their final high school game.

But as exciting and thrilling as Friday night was (the sweet), Saturday was just as gut-wrenching for the hometown crowd (the bitter)..

For the second game in a row, the Cardinals fell behind early on, but this time to a tough Eau Claire Regis team. The Ramblers were able to forge a lead that they never relinquished early on.

The Cardinals fell behind to Regis by a 14-2 margin when Cipriano got a breakaway steal and threw down a dunk to get a little momentum going for the Cardinals, but it was short lived as first Borgerding, then Cipriano, each picked up their second fouls of the game early in the first half.

It seemed like every time the Cardinals would cut into the lead, Regis would extend it just a little more with a three-pointer. By halftime, the Ramblers had forged a 37-21 lead.

The second half was more of the same, foul trouble for the Cardinals that hasn’t been there all season, Valley struggling to stop the Regis guards from penetrating and when they did step up and stop the penetration the guards could dish to the Regis post players for buckets inside.

“I thought our kids played really well,” said Bosshart. “That is a tough team to stop as their guards are so quick and they have solid post players too that can score well.”

The Cardinals, had a somewhat cold shooting night with Borgerding, Boisen and Cipriano all failing to reach double-digits in scoring (6,9 and 7 points respectively). Aaron Borgerding had 10 points and sophomore Zip Bosshart had 17 in a great shooting night to lead the Cardinals.

“I think our boys did everything they could out there tonight,” Bosshart said. “We struggled with the flow of the game and having some key players in foul trouble really changed things out there for us.”

Keelin Norman-Klatt led the Ramblers with 19 points, Cody Osborn had 14 and Ben Sokup had 13 to lead the Ramblers.

The Cardinals season came to a bittersweet end on Saturday night in front of a raucous home crowd and a lot of fans were thankful for the six seniors, and entire team, that made the season such a good one to to experience.

The boys’ team finished with an 18-6 overall record for the 2016-17 season. Thank you boys for a great season!