The Onalaska High School boys basketball team came into Tomah Tuesday ranked fourth in Division 2 and did nothing to tarnish its ranking.
The Hilltoppers zoomed off to an early lead and never looked back in a 72-48 victory over the Timberwolves in a Mississippi Valley Conference contest in the Tomah High School gymnasium.
Onalaska improved to 10-1 overall and 4-0 in the MVC, while Tomah dropped to 2-7 and 0-3.
“On the defensive side, they can put a lot of pressure on you, and they have a rim protector,” Tomah coach Brad Plueger said of the Hilltoppers. “Offensively, they are so skilled.”
The Hilltoppers grabbed a 7-0 lead 2 ½ minutes into the contest before Plueger called timeout. Charlie Ella scored four straight points to cut the gap to 10-7, and Tomah trailed just 15-11 after Isaiah Nick made a bucket with 11:04 left in the first half.
It was all Onalaska for the rest of the first half. The Hilltoppers scored 10 straight points and carried a 40-20 lead into intermission. Onalaska never led by fewer than 19 points in the second half.
Ella led the Timberwolves with 10 points.
Nick scored nine points, and Plueger said the junior forward is developing into a reliable post presence.
“I think Isaiah has really defined his role,” Plueger said.
Plueger said Nick is developing a 3-point shot that draws big defenders from the rim and “his attacks to the rim are getting stronger each game.”
Another bright spot for the Timberwolves was foul shooting. The Timberwolves made all nine of their free throw attempts.
Nine different Onalaska players scored with Carson Arenz topping all scorers with 20 points.
The Timberwolves play their third straight MVC home contest Friday when La Crosse Aquinas visits the THS gym. Tipoff is 7:45 p.m. and is the second half of a girls/boys varsity doubleheader.
Tomah hosts Portage in a nonconference matchup Tuesday, Jan. 15 with varsity tipoff at 7:15 p.m.
ONALASKA 72 TOMAH 48
Onalaska—Olsen 5, Arenz 20, Stuttley 16, Kick 8, Mannel 4, Skemp 2, McGrath 13, Desmond 2, Flannagan 2.
Tomah—Adams 3, Lindauer 4, Torkelson 8, Derousseau 7, M. Gerke 3, Nick 9, J. Gerke 2, Figgins 2, Ella 10.
Three-point goals—Olsen, Arena 4, Kick 2, Adams, Torkelson 2, M. Gerke, Nick.