When Tomah High School senior Madisyn Brey went down with a knee injury in the second game of the 2018-19 girls basketball season, it appeared that she and close friend Madison Lindauer had played together as teammates for the last time.
Lionel Jones stepped forward with other plans.
Jones, head coach of the Viterbo University women’s basketball team, added Brey and Lindauer to his 2019-20 recruiting class. The two Tomah graduates can’t wait to team up again in La Crosse.
“It’s going to feel really good,” Lindauer said.
Lindauer and Brey go back a long way. Both were brought up to the varsity as freshmen and were starting by the end of the season. They led a senior class that helped breath life into a long-struggling program and produced to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 20 years.
They had even bigger hopes heading into their senior seasons before Brey suffered a season-ending knee injury.
“When (Brey) got hurt, it was devastating thinking we will never play together again, but it will be like the old days when we are back together on the court,” Lindauer said.
Brey said it was Lindauer who approached Jones about the idea of putting two Tomah players on the Viterbo roster.
“It was after I got injured that Maddie talked to coach Lionel about me,” Brey said. “He had watched some of my previous games and liked my shooting.”
Jones said Brey and Lindauer will bring “instant chemistry” to the floor.
“We’re very fortunate to recruit two girls of their caliber,” Jones said. “It’s going to make our team better right away. I think both players can come in and make an impact.”
In Lindauer, Viterbo gets a player with impressive credentials. She shared the MVC player of the year award with La Crosse Aquinas’ Lexi Donarski, was honorable mention all-state and was chosen to compete in the WBCA Division 2 all-star game.
“Madison is a pretty unique player,” said Jones. “She is a big guard ... is super-explosive and can score the basketball in so many different ways. The most underrated thing about her game is on the defensive side of the ball.”
Jones expects Brey to fully bounce back from her injury. She averaged 11 points per game as a junior and was an intimidating force in Tomah’s zone press.
“When I heard of Madisyn’s injury, I felt terrible for her,” said Jones. “When I heard she was still available, I knew I had to make her a V-Hawk. She is one of the top guards in the state.”
Brey, who plans to major in biology/physical therapy, said her recovery from knee surgery is on schedule.
“I got cleared to run,” she said. “It’s a little shaky, but I’m on my way back to recovery.”
Viterbo is coming off a 9-19 season in Jones’ first season as coach. Brey said it will be “amazing” to play alongside Lindauer next season as part of a rebuilding program.
“It will make me a lot less nervous,” Brey said. “It will be like the good old days.”
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.