With 26 seconds remaining and Tomah trailing by one, the scenario seemed obvious: Madison Lindauer pounds the dribble at the top of the key, waits for an opening and drives hard to the basket.
Lindauer had a different idea. She passed to an open Lexi Spiers, who drained a corner 3-pointer that lifted Tomah to a 53-49 victory over Osseo-Fairchild in a nonconference girls basketball game Tuesday at Tomah High School.
It was an emotional victory for the Timberwolves, who witnessed teammate Madisyn Brey go down hard with a knee injury midway through the first half. Tomah coach Mark Von Haden was impressed by how his girls handled a tough situation against a good team.
“You saw they didn’t back down tonight,” Von Haden said. “I thought the majority played some of the best basketball of their careers.”
With Tomah’s number-two scoring option sidelined, Lindauer shouldered the scoring load, producing 33 of Tomah’s first 48 points.
It seemed like that would be enough after Lindauer drained a 3-pointer that gave Tomah a 47-42 cushion with 2:14 left. However, the Thunder responded with a 7-1 run, capped by Autumn Vollbrecht’s 3-pointer with 26 seconds left.
Lindauer dribbled the ball upcourt and looked to drive off a screen, but the Thunder sprung a double-team and clogged the lane. That was going to leave somebody open, and Lindauer spotted Spiers waiting in the left corner. Lindauer delivered an on-target pass, and Spiers’ shot hit nothing but net.
Von Haden said the play was executed the way the coaching staff drew it up.
“I told the girls they have to stay in the corner and keep the proper spacing or otherwise they get sucked in and they’re not open,” Von Haden said. “With so much attention being focused on Maddie, Lexi was sitting wide open in the corner. She took her time and made a great shot.”
Osseo-Fairchild wasn’t able to get an open shot on its final possession, and Lindauer rebounded a low-percentage shot with 1.1 seconds left and was fouled. She made both foul shots to ice the contest.
Tomah trailed for most of the contest. Brey hit a field goal to give Tomah its only lead of the first half at 4-2 before the Thunder ripped off eight straight points. The advantage swelled to 31-23 early in the second half before back-to-back 3-pointers by Lindauer tied the game at 37-37 with 6:35 left.
Ella Plueger swished a perimeter jumper that tied the game a 39-39 and drilled a 3-pointer with 3:58 left to give the Timberwolves their first lead of the second half at 44-41.
“Those were huge points,” Von Haden said. “They swung the game for us.”
Lindauer finished with a spectacular box score. She shot 12 of 17 from the floor and made or assisted 80 percent of Tomah’s 20 field goals. She was also six of eight from the foul line and made four steals.
Abby Wagenson was Tomah’s leading rebounder with five, and Plueger had five assists.
Osseo-Fairchild got a strong game from Sophiah Filla, who made four of six 3-pointers and scored 18 points.
The Timberwolves return to action Tuesday, Nov. 27 for a contest at Stratford. They return home Friday, Nov. 30 for a 7:45 p.m. contest against Mauston. It’s the second half of a “pack the gym” doublheader with the boys varsity starting at 6:15 p.m.
TOMAH 53 OSSEO-FAIRCHILD 49
Osseo-Fairchild—Filla 18, Steinke 5, Vollbrecht 7, Hugdahl 11, Hagberg 6, Metzler 2.
Tomah—Spiers 3, Lindauer 35, Brey 2, Whaley 2, Wagenson 2, Plueger 5, Liek 4.
Three-point goals—Filla 4, Steinke, Vollbrecht 2, Spiers, Lindauer 5, Plueger.
Osseo-Fairchild 24 25 − 49
Tomah 19 34 − 53