On a night when neither team was consistently making shots, Tomah’s Emily Powell delivered at crunch time.
Powell scored five points in the final 2:08, and they were enough to lift the Timberwolves to a 39-34 victory over Black River Falls in a nonconference girls basketball game Friday at Tomah High School.
Tomah coach Mark Von Haden said Powell’s effort and energy were critical for the Timberwolves down the stretch.
“Emily Powell is going to give you everything she’s got,” Von Haden said.
That included critical points down the stretch. After Alexis Spiers made two free throws to give Tomah a 33-32 lead with 3:46 remaining, neither team scored again until Powell drilled a 3-pointer at the 2:08 mark.
“She’s one of the girls who has that mentality − shoot the ball in that spot,” Von Haden said.
McKenna Dutton made a pair of foul shots to pull the Tigers to within 36-34 with 1:23 left before Powell hit the front end of a one-and-one for a 37-34 cushion with 36 seconds remaining. She missed the second foul shot, but Shani Tiber got the offensive rebound and was fouled four seconds later. Tiber made one of two foul shots, and Powell made another free throw with 16 seconds left to close out the scoring.
Scoring was a big problem for the Timberwolves in the first half.
They held Black River Falls to just six points in the first 13 minutes of the game but only had a 10-6 lead to show for it.
The Tigers finally started making shots in the final five minutes of the first half.
They ended the half with an 11-4 run to take a 17-14 lead at intermission.
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Black River Falls pushed the lead to 20-15 before Tomah launched a 9-2 run, capped by a Spiers 3-pointer that gave the Timberwolves a 24-22 lead. After that, neither team led by more than three points until Powell’s 3-pointer.
Von Haden said the girls should be happy with the win.
“I told the girls in the locker room after that game a win is a win is a win, no matter how you get it done,” he said.
Ella Plueger scored Tomah’s first seven points and led the team with 12. Spiers added 10.
Tiber and Lauren Noth both grabbed 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, while Plueger had three steals.
The Timberwolves open their Mississippi Valley Conference season Thursday, Dec. 12 with a home contest vs. La Crosse Central. The varsity reserve game is 5:45 p.m. followed by the varsity at 7:15 p.m. at Tomah High School.
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOMAH 39 BLACK RIVER FALLS 34
Black River Falls—Briggs 6, Dobson 7, Nortman 7, Dutton 7, Deloney 2, Eberhardt 3, Cloud 2.
Tomah—Lehnherr 2, Spiers 10, Plueger 12, Powell 6, Noth 5, Tiber 4.
Three-point goals—Briggs, Dobson, Nortman, Eberhardt, Spiers, Plueger 2, Powell.
Tomah 14 25−39
B. River Falls 17 17−34