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Area boys basketball: Pepin flat in fourth

SPRING VALLEY, Wis. -- Pepin played like an underdog fighting the champ in Tuesday's WIAA Division 4 Arcadia Regional, hanging with the second-seeded Cardinals for three quarters.

But in the fourth, Spring Valley finally delivered the knockout blow.

The 25-4 drubbing in the final quarter keyed the 55-32 victory.

Pepin led at halftime 19-16 and upped that lead to 21-16 early in the third quarter after a basket by Nathan Stein. Spring Valley gained momentum heading into the final frame, but Pepin trailed by just two.

"For three quarters we played fantastic basketball," Pepin coach Zack Rowe said.

"We had the tempo in our control. We moved the ball well on offense and we shut down their point guard, Tyler Bosshart, by getting a hand up every time he took a shot."

Pepin had held Bosshart scoreless in the first half and limited him to just two points for the game, including no field goals.

Unable to score, Bosshart became a distributor. He was a key in Corey Blaedorn's 27-point eruption.

He also sent passes to Cardinal sophomore forward Kyler Gotzman, who finished with 12 points.

With the game slipping away, Rowe turned to a press to disrupt Spring Valley's offensive rhythm. With Bosshart leading the way, the Cardinals blew right through the Laker press for easy transition baskets.

"We needed to shake the game up again and I thought the press was the way to go," Rowe said. "But they were able to go right past us. They move the ball extremely well. "

The Cardinals also limited the effectiveness of Pepin's Travis Heit, holding him to four of his team-high 10 points in the second half. Kevin Haglund also finished with 10 points.

"Their defense did a good job shutting down the driving lanes for Travis and being very physical with him." Rowe said.

Spring Valley improved to 13-8 overall and moves on to Thursday's regional semifinal contest. Pepin closed its season at 5-16 overall.