Tomah regrouped in a very positive way Friday.
The Timberwolves got back on the winning track with a 60-25 victory over La Crosse Logan in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls basketball contest at Tomah High School.
Even though the Timberwolves were expected to beat the last-place team in the MVC, they still looked more like the team that started 11-2 than the one nursing a four-game losing streak.
“We needed to get back on the winning side of things,” Tomah coach Mark Von Haden said. “The girls played hard. Relentless was our theme for the night − be relentless and attack, attack, attack.”
The Timberwolves wasted no time applying the evening’s theme. It took Madison Lindauer just 96 seconds to put Tomah ahead 5-0, and Lindsey Conway added five more during a 27-second spurt that gave Tomah a 10-2 lead less than three minutes into the contest.
Von Haden said the good start was important.
“We needed that just so we could say ‘We can do this’ and get some breathing room.” Von Haden said. “From there we just kind of rolled.”
Logan managed to hang around over the next 11 minutes thanks to Jenna Davis, who worked her way inside Tomah’s zone defense to score seven points in the first half. However, seconds after Logan’s Leah Suprenant drilled a 3-pointer to cut Tomah’s lead to 24-14, Davis picked up her third foul, and the Timberwolves pounced. They closed the half with a 13-2 run and then applied the defensive screws after halftime.
Logan, which lost Davis to an injury early in the second half, scored just nine points after intermission and didn’t score a field goal in the final eight minutes even as Von Haden utilizing his bench by substituting five players at a time.
“They did a good job on the defensive end, especially in the second half,” Von Haden said. “It made it hard for them to get into their offense. We made them take a lot of shots they didn’t want to take.”
Lindauer led Tomah with 19 points. She made four field goals and was 11 of 12 from the foul line.
Conway finished with 13 points, while Emma Liek and Reis Derousseau scored eight each.
Tomah improved its record to 12-6 overall and 4-5 in the MVC.
The Timberwolves have already clinched their first winning season since 2005-06, and Von Haden said the team still has goals beyond that despite a season during which injuries have taken a heavy toll. Onalaska and Holmen, two teams ahead of Tomah in the MVC standings remain on the schedule. Von Haden hopes to pull an upset over one of the MVC’s top teams and also reach the regional final of the WIAA tournament. The Timberwolves haven’t reached a regional final since the WIAA expanded the tournament from four to five divisions.
Tomah travels to Osseo-Fairchild tonight (Monday) and returns home Tuesday, Feb. 6 to host Sparta in an MVC contest.
TOMAH 60 LA CROSSE LOGAN 25
La Crosse Logan—Suprenant 3, Wieland 4, Borsheim 2, Johnson 3, Sagen 2, Erickson 4, Davis 7.
Tomah—Conway 13, Schwitchtenberg 3, Lindauer 19, Brey 7, Spiers 2, Derousseau 8, Liek 8.
Three-point goals—Suprenant, Conway 2, Brey, Derousseau, Liek.
MVC GIRLS BASKETBALL
Result of Jan. 25
West Salem 63 Central 54 (nc)
Results of Jan. 26
Tomah 60 Logan 25
Onalaska 64 Holmen 34
Aquinas 94 Sparta 32