LA CROSSE, Wis. - In front of a crowd estimated at more than 5,000, Dustin Gordon hit a free throw with 2 seconds remaining in overtime to send Onalaska to a 49-48 win over rival Aquinas.
"It felt great," Gordon said. "Nothing better than beating Aquinas."
Blugolds forward Michael Conway hit three 3-pointers in the first half, and Aquinas led 27-20 at halftime. But Onalaska outscored Aquinas 13-9 in the third quarter to pull within three points. Despite two big 3-pointers to begin the 4th by Conway and Nolan Ritter, the Hilltoppers rallied back again.18366316
Matt Thomas scored his first two points from the field to tie the game at 44 with 1:45 remaining. He had a chance to hit the game-winning shot, but could not convert.
In overtime, tied at 48, Dustin Gordon drew a foul with two seconds left and hit the free throw to give the Hilltoppers the lead.
"I mean who could have dreamed of a better scenario for these two games? Down to the last possession one game, overtime the next," Onalaska Head Coach Craig Kowal said. "Seriously?"
In the final high school meeting between Wisconsin recruit Bronson Koenig and Iowa State recruit Matt Thomas, it was the defense for both teams that shined. Koenig managed 4 points from the field and Matt Thomas managed 2. But once again, the fans in attendance saw quite a show.
"I told my assistants before the game, take a picture of this in your minds. You may not ever see this in this area again," Kowal said. "It's pretty special."