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Monticello Ponies Win Regionals

 

March 12, 2020

Sue Moen

From left: Head Coach Mark Olson, Evan Guenther, Logan Blum, Owen Ace, Devin Holtz, Pete Gustafson, Reece Rufer, Blake Klitzke, Simon Blohowiak, Tristin Flanagan, Rudy Wicker, Kade Ace, Lucas Heiser, Cade Femrite, Assistant Coach Joe Woolsey, Assistant Coach Gabe Zielke.

The Monticello Ponies boys basketball team hosted round two of the Division 5 WIAA Regionals on March 6th, against #8 seeded Black Hawk, who had defeated #9 Pecatonica on March 3rd. The Ponies trailed early on, but scored 12 points in a row to go up 15-4 with a little more than 11 minutes left in the first half. The two teams traded points the rest of the half and by the time halftime rolled around, the Ponies were leading by 10 points, 29-19.

In the second half, the Ponies kept their momentum going and the Warriors could never get any closer than 13 points. Monticello won the game, 68-43.

Simon Blohowiak led Monticello with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Peter Gustafson scored 16 points and had 9 rebounds, Reece Rufer put 12 on the board and pulled down 9 rebounds, Owen Ace scored 12 points and Rudy Wicker had 6 rebounds.

The win against Black Hawk earned the Ponies a chance to host #4 seeded Argyle for the WIAA Division 5 Regional Championship. Monticello again trailed early on, but went on a 13-2 run to go up by 10 with about 10 minutes left in the first half. The halftime score had the Ponies leading, 24-17.

With less than 9 minutes left to play in the game, the Ponies extended their lead by 20 points and the closest the Orioles could get as 12 points. Monticello won the game with a score of 57-41.

Peter Gustafson scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Ponies, while Reece Rufer scored 14 points and had 14 rebounds, Simon Blohowiak scored 13 points and had 5 rebounds and Devin Holtz scored 11 points.

"It was an exciting weekend at Monticello. Both games were physical battles against teams that we had already played twice this year," commented Coach Mark Olson. "I thought we defended really well in both games. We were balanced in scoring in both games, putting four players in double digits in both games."

This is the Ponies' first regional win since 2010, and their last appearance in a sectional final was in 2004. The last time the Ponies appeared in the state tournament was 1926. Monticello moves on to the first round of WIAA Division 5 Sectionals at a game to be played on Thursday, March 12th, at Edgewood High School in Madison, against the #2 seeded Randolph Rockets.

Sue Moen

Simon Blohowiak led the scoring in the win over Blackhawk with 18 points. He had 13 points in the win over Argyle.

Randolph, who had a 12-2 conference record and won their conference, the Trailways-West, had a regular season overall record of 22-3. The Rockets were ranked higher than Monticello in the Division 5 wissportsnet.net boys basketball coaches poll for a while during the season but took a tumble to tie for 10th place in the last few weeks of the regular season, and were ranked in 6th place to Monticello's 3rd in the final AP of the season, which was released on March 3rd. The game between the Ponies and the Rockets starts at 7:00 p.m. Big Radio will be broadcasting the game on AM 1260 and 95.5 FM, and streaming it live on the internet at http://www.wekz.com. The winner advances to the Division 5 sectional final at Fond du Lac on Saturday, March 14th, against the winner of the #3 Hustisford vs #1 Sheboygan Lutheran game.

 
 

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