For a young team looking for something positive, the second half at La Crosse Central is a good place to start.
The Tomah Timberwolves played a competitive second half at Central during an 84-63 loss in a Mississippi Valley Conference boys basketball game Thursday at Central High School.
Tomah (2-9 overall, 0-5 MVC) outscored Central 38-34 in the second half, and Tomah coach Brad Plueger was encouraged by what he saw after intermission.
“We did a much better job of working together against their pressure in the second half,” Plueger said. “We realized where the open spaces were on fade screens, and we hit some open shots.”
The door to a competitive second half was opened, in part, by Central coach Todd Fergot, who didn’t play any of his starters more than 19 minutes. But the Timberwolves created their own success by getting hot at the 3-point line. They made 15 of 29 3-pointers with six different players hitting from long range.
Tyler Torkelson made four of six 3-pointers and led the Timberwolves with 17 points.
“You could see (Torkelson’s) confidence and willingness to hit the open shot when it was there,” Plueger said.
Carson Lindauer added 13 points for the Timberwolves.
Kade Gnewikow scored two points but dished off eight assists and was Tomah’s leading rebounder with six.
Turnovers were a problem for the Timberwolves. They committed 22 with most of them in the first half.
Central’s Jonathan Davis, who is being pursued by the University of Wisconsin and other Division 1 schools, scored 26 points and hauled down eight rebounds in just 19 minutes.
The Timberwolves have a big week ahead with winnable games at La Crosse Logan (Jan. 22) and home vs. Arcadia (Jan. 24) and Portage (Jan. 25). The Portage contest was rescheduled from Jan. 15.
“It’s a very important week,” Plueger said. “We have three games we can compete in and games we need to start finishing out for wins.”
All three contests are 7:15 p.m. tipoffs.
LA CROSSE CENTRAL 84 TOMAH 63
Tomah—Gnewikow 2, Lindauer 13, Torkelson 17, Derousseau 2, M. Gerke 9, Nick 9, J. Gerke 3, Figgins 3, Ella 5.
La Crosse Central—Hayden 11, D. Davis 5, Jn. Davis 26, Ingram 9, Austin 9, Masewicz 7, Thompson 2, Parcher 9, Jr. Davis 6.
Three-point goals—Lindauer 3, Torkelson 4, M. Gerke 3, Nick 3, Figgins, Ella, Hayden 2, D. Davis, Jn. Davis 2, Ingram, Austin 3.
Tomah 25 38 — 63
Central 50 34 — 84