Daryl Fox swears its nothing special.
No fancy halftime speeches. No broken chalk or dented chairs.
But something has gone on inside the Edgerton boys locker room at halftime during the postseason that has the Crimson Tide one win away from a trip to the Kohl Center.
For the third straight game, Edgerton erupted in the second half and pulled away from Platteville for a 65-56 victory Thursday night in a WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinal game at Oregon High.
Edgerton (20-5) plays Rock Valley Conference nemesis East Troy (20-5) in a sectional final scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at Middleton. The Trojans, who edged top-seeded Martin Luther 53-51 at the buzzer Thursday, swept the regular-season series with the Tide.
“There really isn’t much said in the locker room at half,” Fox said. “For some reason, teams have been shooting lights out against us the first half but then revert back to the norm in the second half.”
Looking for its first state tournament berth since 1941, Edgerton had to rally past Platteville. The Tide trailed by five at half but outscored the Hillmen 45-31 over the final 18 minutes.
In three playoff games, Edgerton has scored 123 points in the second half.
“We did a great job once again rebounding the ball and not giving them second-chance opportunities,” Fox said. “And shots that weren’t falling for us the first half—especially the 3—started falling in the second half.”
Edgerton scored the first five points of the second half to quickly tie the game. The lead then see-sawed back and forth, with Platteville (19-6) taking its last lead at 54-52 with 3:41 to play.
Those were the last points for the Hillmen, however, as the Tide scored the final 13 points of the game. Senior Jacob Fox tied the game at 54-54 with 3:32 remaining with two free throws, and senior Dan Zeimet’s offensive rebound and putback with 2:51 to play gave Edgerton the lead for good at 56-54.
Zeimet added his third 3 of the game to push the lead to five with two minutes left and scored all 12 of his points in the second half.
“We’ve been a good second-half team all season,” Zeimet said. “We don’t lose confidence even though we’ve been down at half quite a few times, because we know we have the ability to come back and beat teams.
“And we’ve been really good all season about when someone is hot, getting them the ball. I was feeling it the second half tonight, and my teammates got me the ball.”
Senior Donovan Cone led the Tide with 18 points and was one of four players in double figures. Senior Alec Johnson and Fox had 14 points each to go along with Zeimet’s 12. Cone had 14 points in the second half.
The old adage is that it’s tough to beat a team three times in a season. Coach Fox hopes that’s true come Saturday.
“We’re physically and emotionally ready to play them,” Fox said of East Troy. “The last time we played them was a one-possession game, and we came up short.
“For us, we’ve got to continue to rebound well, knock down some shots and not let them get their transition game going. That’s where they’re really dangerous.”
It’s been 77 years since Edgerton played at state.
If the Crimson Tide continue to play lights out in the second half, the drought will be over.
EDGERTON 65, PLATTEVILLE 56
Platteville (56)—Blevins 4-1-11; Eggers 6-1-15; Rohrbach 2-1-6; Oswald 3-0-8; Riley 0-2-2; Bartels 5-2-12. Totals: 20-7-56
Edgerton (65)—Cone 5-8-18; Jenny 3-0-7; Fox 5-2-14; Zeimet 4-1-12; A. Johnson 6-2-14. Totals: 23-13-65
Platteville 25 31—56
Edgerton 20 45—65
3-point goals—Platteville 9 (Eggers 4, Blevins 2, Oswald 2, Rohrbach), Edgerton 6 (Zeimet 3, Fox 2, Jenny). Free throws missed—Platteville 7, Edgerton 6. Total fouls—Platteville 18, Edgerton 18.