It was a shooting gallery at Tomah High School Friday.
Both Tomah and Mauston made 14 shots from 3-point range, but Mauston’s superior ability to get to the rim was the difference in its 87-69 victory over the Timberwolves in a high school nonconference boys contest. It was the opening contest of a boys/girls “pack the gym” doubleheader.
The Golden Eagles’ scoring output was no surprise after they smoked La Crosse Aquinas 76-60 three days earlier. Three different Mauston players scored 22 or more points.
“Sometimes you play a team that has a better offense than your defense, and you just have to tip your hat,” Tomah coach Brad Plueger said. “They had three guys who were hitting threes.”
Mauston’s dead-eye trio of Trevor Gallagher, Cade Hall and Joe Bauer struck not just from the 3-point line but were also able to attack the basket when Tomah sold out on a close-out attempt. Plueger said the game was a lesson for a young team that’s still learning its way on defense.
“We have a lot of work to do on our footwork and closeouts,” Plueger said.
The Timberwolves responded with a balanced 3-point attack of their own with six different players hitting at least one shot from long range. However, the Timberwolves hit just 12 shots from inside the arc and struggled mightily to draw fouls. Tomah attempted just four foul shots.
Tyler Torkelson drilled an early 3-pointer to give Tomah its only lead at 3-0. Mauston scored the game’s next 11 points and extended its lead to 28-14 before Tomah responded with its best stretch of basketball. Torkelson and Dusty Derousseau made 3-pointers as part of a 15-7 run that cut the Golden Eagles’ margin to 35-29 with 3:01 left in the half. However, Mauston ended the half on a 12-4 run capped by Hall’s spot-up 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Golden Eagles then opened the second half with a 12-2 run that put the game out of reach.
Junior guard Charlie Ella led the Timberwolves with 17 points, including three 3-pointers. Torkelson finished the game with four 3-pointers and had 14 points. Derousseau scored his 12 points coming off the bench.
The game was Tomah’s home opener. Three nights earlier, the Timberwolves lost a 53-50 decision at Onalaska Luther. Unlike the Mauston game, the Timberwolves struggled from the 3-point line, where they went two-of-27.
Tomah shot much better at the foul line, where they made nine of 10 shots. Kade Gnewikow led the Timberwolves with 18 points and converted all six of his free throw attempts. He also had nine rebounds, six assists and five steals.
Bennett Loersch led Luther with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Timberwolves begin a string of five straight road games Tuesday, Dec. 4 at Wisconsin Rapids. They don’t return home until Friday, Jan. 4, when they host Onalaska in a Mississippi Valley Conference contest.
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONALASKA LUTHER 53 TOMAH 50
Tomah—Gnewikow 18, Adams 5, Torkelson 6, Derousseau 2, Nick 2, M. Gerke 5, J. Gerke 1, Ella 11.
Onalaska Luther—Byus 7, McNamara 18, Riley 1, Stadler 8, Loersch 19.
Three-point goals—M. Gerke, Ella, McNamara 2, Stadler.
Tomah 23 27−50
Luther 31 22−53
MAUSTON 87 TOMAH 69
Mauston—Gallagher 22, Hall 26, Bauer 22, Massey 2, Fitzgerald 8, Saylor 3, Kobylski 4.
Tomah—Gnewikow 6, Adams 5, Lindauer 6, Torkelson 14, Nick 2, Derousseau 12, M. Gerke 2, J. Gerke 2, Figgins 3, Ella 17.
Three-point goals—Gallagher 6, Hall 3, Bauer 4, Saylor 1, Adams, Lindauer 2, Derousseau 3, Torkelson 4, Figgins, Ella 3.
Mauston 47 40−87
Tomah 33 36−69