High school basketball: Tyrell Stuttley joins 1,000 point club, Hilltoppers roll over Sparta on Senior Night

High school basketball: Tyrell Stuttley joins 1,000 point club, Hilltoppers roll over Sparta on Senior Night


A spin move and left-handed lay-in by senior Austin Larson late in the second half elicited an animated fist pump by Onalaska High School boys basketball coach Craig Kowal on Friday night.

It was by no means the decisive score of the game — the Hilltoppers ran away with a 74-31 win over Sparta at the Charles Deeth Fieldhouse — but Larson’s basket meant that all seven seniors would end up in the scorebook, putting the icing on the Senior Night victory for Onalaska.

Senior Isaac Helixon led all scorers with 17 points for the Hilltoppers (17-1, 9-0 MVC), while senior Jacob Valk added 15 points to help Onalaska, the top-ranked team in Division 2, win its 13th consecutive game.

Helixon helped Onalaska get rolling early after getting the start for the Hilltoppers, scoring seven of the first 16 points, while Valk scored nine of his points after halftime.

“I knew I was going to play more coming in, so I was just trying to get some shots up and get the ball to some of the other seniors,” Helixon said.

Kowal said that getting contributions from all seven seniors — Tyrell Stuttley had 11 points, Carson Arenz added eight, Hank Olson had a pair of 3-pointers and Dakota Mannel chipped in three points — made for a truly memorable night for the Hilltoppers.

“It’s special because of the type of kids that each and every one of those seniors are,” said Kowal. “Some of those guys don’t get the playing time that others do, so to have them all contribute on a night like tonight is really special.”

To add to the eventful evening, Stuttley joined the 1,000-point club with a baseline dunk in the first half on what was almost a highlight-reel play. After just missing the connection on a backdoor lob pass, Stuttley gathered and dunked emphatically to reach the milestone.

As important as joining that prestigious club was to Stuttley, he said that he and his Onalaska teammates have bigger fish to fry.

“I was just trying to score,” said Stuttley, a MSU-Mankato recruit. “It’s a big deal, and it was one of my goals that I wanted to achieve in my high school career, but we have more goals to achieve this season.”

Stuttley was also quick to credit the likes of Helixon and Valk for their efforts in helping to get the Hilltoppers get to where they want to be.

“They give us really good looks on the scout team, and it’s fun having them around,” said Stuttley. “We have a good culture and we all love when everyone plays good.”

Players like Stuttley, Arenz and Sam Kick sat on the bench most of the second half, allowing Kowal to go deep into his bench. 12 different players scored for Onalaska.

“The neatest thing about the whole deal is that a lot of our starters are sacrificing playing time on a night like tonight, and they are so selfless,” Kowal said. “On the flip side, those guys that don’t get a ton of minutes still come and grind every day so they absolutely deserve what they got tonight.”

The Hilltoppers will have a week off before tough road tests at Tomah (Feb. 14) and at Central (Feb. 18).

“The big thing is to kind of clean up the mistakes we’ve made, and maybe add a few things that you’ll need,” Kowal said of preparing for the stretch run. “It’s kind of refreshing to get a few days to focus on yourself and improve on some of the things we need to do to take the next step.”


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