It’s what will likely be remembered as a source of success for the two after Onalaska defeated Caledonia 51-43.
The immediate thrill, of course, goes to the Hilltoppers (10-0), who scored the last 13 points and held a magnificent scoreless attack over five minutes to close the victory.
“That’s what this game is all about,” Caledonia coach Brad King said. “They probably made five big plays when we got the ball in the dying minutes.
“Give them credit for how they defended and had active hands, but I think we got a little too stationary too, and it took a toll on us.
A Nick Odom steal, a Sam Kick steal, and a Gavin McGrath steal down the stretch were three of those games that took chances away from the Warriors.
King, whose team opened the season with a 96-52 victory at Triton and followed it with a 94-70 victory at Chatfield, experienced too many droughts in a game that included far fewer possessions than ‘he wished.
The Warriors (2-1) made 18 of 59 shots (30.5%) and also struggled to score late in the first half. The Hilltoppers turned an 18-8 deficit into a 25-20 halftime lead with a 17-2 run in the 7:43 final.
Each passage Onalaska made, it seemed, had a specific intention. There was no lobbing of the ball to an area where it could be caught. The movement and movement of the ball determined the type of shots the Hilltoppers got, and most of them were good.