It was clear that when senior Ellie Hoesley was on the floor Thursday for the Arcadia High School girls basketball team during its WIAA Division 3 state semifinal, she was a difference-maker.
Unfortunately, for Hoesley and the Raiders, her chance to be on the floor was limited due to foul trouble. Hoesley fouled out with 4 minutes, 19 seconds left and was limited to 27 minutes, and top-seeded Platteville took advantage to beat the Raiders 48-45 Thursday afternoon at the Resch Center.
The game was played in front of a limited number of spectators due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The teams found out around 9 a.m. that they would be playing in front of 88 selected fans from each side. Both teams were asked to make a list of names on who they wanted to be there. Arcadia had more than six school buses full of people that made a beeline back to Arcadia after it was announced they wouldn’t be allowed in.
“With the 88 people we had supporting, they were loud, but I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like if we had close to over 2,000 people,” Arcadia coach Tom Cowley said. “That would have been huge.
“There was shock from the girls, but they handled it well, but it’s a huge blow when you have that many people coming.”
The Raiders (23-4) struggled with foul trouble throughout, specifically with leading scorer Hoesley, as she and Arcadia tried to contain 6-foot-2 Bradley commit and Platteville senior Sami Martin.
Behind seven points from Hoesley, Arcadia took a 17-10 lead with about 5:30 left in the first half, but then Hoesley picked up her third foul — forcing her to sit the remainder of the half. Arcadia was outscored 11-2 with her on the bench. For the game, the Raiders were plus six with her on the court.
“I’ll come out and say it, our post (Hoesley) playing their Bradley recruit post, our post is better,” Cowley said. “She outplayed her on both ends of the floor, foul trouble-wise. I thought they were kind of ticky-tacky calls that she had. One of them, they gave to the wrong person. ... Unfortunately, for us to keep her out a third of the game, that really changed and dictated the game on what we could or couldn’t do.
“For me, that was the biggest key of the game ... not having her out there for an extended periods of time.”
It was a back-and-forth second half that included multiple runs from both teams. Arcadia went on a 7-1 burst to take a 26-24 lead, but then Platteville (26-0) returned to its 1-3-1 zone that had given Arcadia trouble in the first half. The Hillmen rattled off seven straight to take a 31-26 lead. Arcadia trimmed the lead back down to 37-36, but with 4:19 left and down 41-38, Hoesley picked up her fifth foul on a reach, and Platteville scored four straight to make it 45-38.
But the Raiders refused to quit.
Back-to-back buckets from Linzy Sendelbach made it 45-42 with 2:30 left. After a great defensive possession, Arcadia had a chance to tie it on a 3, but freshman Breah Golden’s 3 was a bit short with a 1:30 left. Arcadia was 4 of 19 from beyond the arc.
Platteville was able to ice it from there at the free-throw line where it was 17 of 21 compared to just 3 of 7 for Arcadia. Martin finished with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Hoesley led the way with 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, while Sendelbach added 14 and eight rebounds for Arcadia. The two ended their careers as No. 1 and No. 2 in program history for career points.
“They did exactly what I wanted them to do,” Cowley said. “They left everything on the floor. They have done that for me all season long. They have been a fantastic duo to coach not only in abilities, but as people. They are just good kids.”
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