Payton Brotzki didn’t start the second half for Platteview Friday, but she hit the shots to finish the game.
Brotzki made a pair of free throws with 0.4 seconds left on the clock to give the Trojans the 34-32 win over Class A No. 8 Lincoln Pius X. The win capped off a perfect 22-0 regular season for the Trojans, the first undefeated regular season in the school’s history.
Brotzki was ill during the game and wasn’t able to return from the locker room after halftime in time to start the third quarter. Platteview coach Ron Coughlin wasn’t sure if his leading scorer would be back the rest of the game.
“She wasn’t there for the start of the second half and I thought she might be done for the night,” Coughlin said. “Next thing I know she was on the bench and told me she was ready.”
Pius hit a 3-pointer with nine seconds left in the game to tie it at 32-all. After a Platteview timeout, Brotzki took the inbounds pass and drove the length of the floor and forced a foul on a runner with 0.4 seconds left.
“With 7.2 seconds left, we wanted to get it to either Payton or Colby (Duvel) and let them make something happen,” Coughlin said. “We had Brandis (Bridwell) and Megan (Gillen) spotted up for 3s if they needed to dish it, too.”
The Trojans clawed to a 15-11 lead at halftime after a slow first half for both teams. The Thunderbolts woke up in the third quarter as they made five 3-pointers in the quarter to take a 26-24 lead into the final period.
Two points apiece from Brotzki and Gillen gave the Trojans a 28-26 lead with 2:06 left before Pius hit another 3 to regain the lead. Duvel answered the next possession for Platteview with a bucket to give her team the lead, which would grow to three points after a Gillen fastbreak basket.
“These girls have no quit in them and Colby, our senior leader, won’t let us quit,” Coughlin said.
Brotzki led Platteview with 18 points while Duvel added six and Bridwell five.
The Trojan win might have been the best of the season and sends the Trojans into the postseason with momentum. They open district play Thursday against the winner of Nebraska City and Plattsmouth at Bellevue East.
“It was a great environment and a fun game,” Coughlin said.
“To be 22-0 is awesome and the first time in school history we’ve had an undefeated regular season. We knew they were a good team and these are the type of teams we need to play and need to beat.”