HOLMEN — With the clock winding down from 20 seconds in a tie game Monday night, Ryan Meyer opted not to take a timeout.
The Holmen High School boys basketball coach trusted his team to find the right shot, and he didn’t want Tomah to be able to set up its defense.
That decision paid off as the ball found its way into the hands of senior forward Max Hammond, who knocked down a baseline jumper with less than two seconds to play.
The ninth-ranked Timberwolves’ heave at the buzzer didn’t fall, and the Vikings earned a significant 44-42 MVC win.
“We’re learning how to come together as a team, learning how to win,” said Meyer, whose team snapped a two-game skid. “This team has talent … I don’t even think they know the talent that they have.”
Hammond finished with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while senior forward Cole Kalander scored a game-high 21 points for Holmen, which improved to 2-2 overall and 1-2 in the conference.
Kalander made nine of his 15 attempts, including a 2-of-6 performance from 3-point range.
“Cole had it going inside and outside a little bit,” Meyer said. “He was aggressive at taking the ball to the hoop and kind of played with no fear tonight and just trusted in his abilities.”
Defensively, the Vikings were able to keep Tomah, which entered Monday night averaging 62.6 points per game, in check.
Junior guard Dustin Derousseau, who had 18 points, was the lone Timberwolves player in double figures, but he was just 4-of-14 from the field.
Senior guard Carson Lindauer had eight points, but Tomah (9-3, 3-2), which held a slim 21-20 halftime lead, shot just 27% from the floor and 5% from beyond the arc.
“They understood what they had to do defensively against those guys,” Meyer said. “We probably got lucky that they missed some shots, but our defense, we stuck to our principles and we did what we had to do.”
Holmen will look to build on the victory when it plays at Eau Claire Memorial on Tuesday.
The Timberwolves will look to get back on track Friday, when it plays at Central.