MENOMONIE, Wis. – It took two overtimes for the Onalaska High School boys basketball team to upset top-seeded Holmen in the playoffs last week.
That game may look easy now, compared to what the Hilltoppers (16-8) are up against tonight.
You may as well call the 7 p.m. Division 2 sectional semifinal, Onalaska vs. Henry Ellenson. Watch the matchup here with fifth-ranked Rice Lake (19-11) beginning with pregame at 6:45 p.m.
Ellenson is signed to play for Marquette. He’s a McDonald’s All-American. A Jordan Brand Classic selection. And a USA Basketball Junior National Select Team member.
The 6-foot-10 Rice Lake forward averages 27.4 points. He scored 25, including a barrage of dunks, back in January at the La Crosse Center. He’s scored over 40 four times this season.
There isn’t much the senior can’t do on the basketball court. He can post up, bring the ball up, shoot the 3 and everything in between.
Onalaska is going to have to figure out a way to stop him, and continue its 3-point barrage to move on to the sectional finals at Menomonie High School.
The Hilltoppers do have history on their side. These two teams have met two of the past three seasons, and Onalaska won both – though it did have current Iowa State guard Matt Thomas at its disposal then.
Arcadia, ranked 11th in the division heading into the tournament, takes on West Salem at 7 p.m. tonight at Osseo-Fairchild High School.
The Raiders (21-3) split their regular-season matchups with the Panthers (14-10), winning 57-38 on Jan. 6 and losing 68-53 on Feb. 10.
Arcadia’s only other losses this season have come to Fall Creek (21-4), ranked 14th in Division 4, and ninth-ranked Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau (19-5).
Justin Thomas, a 6-3 senior guard, averages 16.8 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Raiders, while teammate Zach Pronschinske scores 11.5 per contest.
Baily Williams, a 6-2 guard, leads West Salem averaging 22.9 points, while Billy Tremain averages 11.3.
OTHER AREA GAMES
DIVISION 4 – at La Crosse Logan: No. 1 Melrose-Mindoro (18-6) vs. No. 1 Pardeeville (13-11)
DIVISION 5 – at La Crosse Central: No. 3 Gilmanton (18-5) vs. No. 1 Hillsboro (20-5)