SPRING VALLEY, WI - Despite a tough loss to Elk Mound earlier in the week, the Spring Valley boys’ basketball team kept their heads up and focused on the next game, which was at home last Friday against Durand in the regular season home finale. By beating the Panthers and increasing their overall record to 16-5 they assured themselves of a number two seed in their WIAA Division 4 Regional bracket, with play starting next Tuesday.

With the number two seed, they will find themselves hosting the winner of the Plum City/Elmwood vs. Boyceville game. Those two teams play next Tuesday in Elmwood and the Cardinals will host the winner on Friday, March 3. The winner of that game will play on Saturday, March 4.

Valley earned the #2 seed, Stanley-Boyd received the #1 seed with a 16-4 record going into the seeding meeting. Eau Claire Regis was the number three seed with a 16-5 record as well. The rest of the teams in the bracket included #4 seeded Durand, #5 seeded Mondovi, #6 seeded Cadott, #7 seeded Plum City/Elmwood, #8 seeded Glenwood City, #9 seeded Colfax, #10 seeded Boyceville, #11 seeded Fall Creek and #12 seeded Osseo-Fairchild.

In the meantime, the Cardinals need to finish their regular season with a team they may face right away, Plum City/Elmwood, tonight in the regular season finale.

Last week the Cardinals started the week with a loss to Elk Mound that was reported in last week’s Sun-Argus, but finished with a gritty win over Durand that came down to the final seconds of the game for the second time this season.

The Cardinals topped Durand 59-57, which was the same score as the first time the teams played. And, like the first game, it was a real back-and-forth affair.

The Panthers came out fast, using their size to forge an early lead. With just 7:24 left in the first half, Durand held a 15-8 lead on the Cardinals, but over the rest of the remaining time, Valley outscored the Panthers 18-7 to take a 26-22 lead into the locker room.

The second half was just as much a yo-yo as the first half. The Cardinals forged a 35-25 lead early on, only to see the Panthers erase that deficit to take a 46-44 lead with 5:41 left to go in the game.

From that point on, it was a trading of buckets and fouls and free throws to the very end. Even to the final minute. With 1:09 left in the game the two teams were tied at 54. The Cardinals took advantage of the free throw opportunities by making theirs, and when they missed they were able to pull down key rebounds to get the ball back. The Cardinals established a 59-54 lead from the free throw line and a last-second three pointer for the Panthers gave the final margin for the game.

Seniors led the Cardinals on senior night, with Blake Klatt notching 14 hard-earned points and Zach Boisen canning three three-pointers from the outside enroute to a 13-point night. Sean Borgerding has 12 points, including key free throws in the final minute of the game to seal the win for the Cardinals.

“I thought we got gritty play from all of our seniors tonight, but everyone that played contributed to the win,” said Head Coach Rob Bosshart. “It was a good team effort tonight, all the way around. We got plays when we needed them from everyone. I think that’s been the key for this team all season long, no one cares who gets the credit, as long as the job gets done, it’s been a very unselfish team all year long and that starts with the seniors.”

Reid Hansen led the Panthers with 14 points while William Berger and Gavin Polzer had 10 points each in the losing effort.

Valley now has that 16-5 record overall and are 11-2 in the D-SC sitting solidly in second place with the final game tonight against Plum City/Elmwood. The game was scheduled to be played in Plum City at the writing of this article.