Last Saturday’s match-up at the Coulee Classic was only the third time in 19 years of the event that Westby has played Onalaska Luther at the La Crosse Center.
Westby junior Sam Strangstalien had a hot hand for Westby with a game-high 30 points, but it wasn’t enough to pull out a win against Luther at the Coulee Classic on Jan 27. The Norsemen fell 65-58.
Luther 65, Westby 58
Luther started its scoring run early leading 9-0, and pulled out to a 21-8 lead half way into the first half. Westby was down, but not out. The Norsemen went on a long range shooting spree with great success pulling within one at the end of the first half, 33-32. Strangstalien put up 13 of his 30 points before the break, including back-to-back 3-pointers in the final two minutes.
In the second half, the score flip flopped to the first tie in the game at points 50, a t which time Westby went into a defensive slump and
Luther outscored Westby 20-10 in the final eight minutes. Westby battled back to within four points in the final minute, but came up short falling 65-58. Ryan Daines fouled out late in the game.
Westby had two players in double digits. Strangstalien led the team with a varsity career high 30 points. He drained 10 of 20 field-goal attempts, including 6 of 11 from 3-point territory. Strangstalien was also effective at the charity stripe hitting four of his seven attempts.
Griffin Grass added 13 points for Norsemen, who were 10-for-23 from beyond the arc. Rounding out the scoring for Westby: Alex Gluch 7, Ryan Daines 6 and Grant Dayton 2.
Luther’s Emery Byus scored 25 points—including three 3-pointers—to lead the Knights (8-8, 4-4) past Westby. Teammate Bennett Loersch added 18 points and nine rebounds, while Ben Kutz drained four 3-pointers finishing with 15 points.
Westby’s Head Coach Bob Constalie said playing at the La Crosse is a complete change of pace and you have to work hard to stay on task.
“I thought the team played well, but a team can’t live or die by long range shooting. We need to keep up the inside pressure and make shots in the paint, rebound stronger and limit turnovers,” Constalie said.
Westby hosted Mauston on Jan. 30, traveled to Arcadia on Feb 1, and head to Viroqua on Feb. 9 for a rematch after falling to the rival Blackhawks when Andrew Wedwick drained a shot at the buzzer in the team’s first meeting on Jan. 5.