Onalaska’s late comeback falls short in state semifinal
Hilltoppers erase nine point deficit late, miss shot at buzzer to force overtime
Stoughton’s size proved itself early and once again on the final play of the WIAA division 2 state semifinal game, leaving Onalaska junior Tayla Stuttley’s game high 30-point performance just short of a last minute comeback.
The Huskies (25-2) moved on the the division 2 state title game with a 59-56 Onalaska (21-6), hanging on in the closing seconds after leading by nine points with a minute and a half left in the game.
“Getting out-rebounded by eight in that first three-minute stretch, I think that’s where they out-rebounded us by eight,” first-year Onalaska head coach Matt Kelliher said. “I think we kind of composed ourselves, got back and really thought outplayed them honestly for the rest of the game. But we just didn’t gather rebounds, a few silly turnovers, and a I think a lot of it was just nerves.”
“I don’t think any of my teammates are afraid of anyone taller than them so we just kept doing what we do and attack the basket, try to get fouls which we did,” Stuttley said. “They just outscored us in the end.”
Onalaska returns all but senior Josie Thomas for next season, and the team already is making no little plans for the 2016-17 season.
“And now it’s get it that one more step, get into that championship game and try to win that gold ball,” Kelliher said. “We want to get to that game. I’ll be the first to say it, that’s my expectation next year is to be sitting up here on Saturday with a big smile on my face with these two sitting right here. Put a bulls-eye on our back, we don’t care. We’re ready for it.”