Rice Lake-Onalaska WIAA boys basketball sectional preview

Thursday night's WIAA Division 2 boys basketball sectional semifinal between Rice Lake and Onalaska at UW-Stout's Johnson Fieldhouse is sold out. No surprise as the game features the top two teams in D-2 and collectively some of the top talent in the state. The Big Rivers champion Warriors say they are looking forward to being the underdog.

Kevin Orr/Rice Lake Coach:
"You know we had a great season, played a very good Logan team, Holmen team and now we have the opportunity to play the number-one team in the state. And we're going to come out and give it our best shot. We're going to play hard and have a good week of practice and we'll see what happens."
Alex Cuskey/Rice Lake Senior Guard:
"We're working really hard, feel good about how we're playing right now, we know that they're an outstanding team, and we have to bring our "A" game to win."

The match-up in Menomonie will feature two of the top players in the state, the Warriors' Wally Ellenson who is heading to Minnesota next year, while the Hilltoppers feature 6-foot 3-inch guard Matt Thomas. According to ESPN's national recruiting, Thomas is regarded as the fourth best player in the state and is receiving several scholarship offers including Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Marquette. Rice Lake coach Kevin Orr says his team's defense must be a collective effort.
Kevin Orr: "Hey, when you're playing against the number-one ranked team in the state, it's going to come down to who can eliminate the other team from going on huge runs and I think defensively the team that makes the most stops is going to win."

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  • by Brian Location: RL on Mar 7, 2012 at 08:28 PM
    Hope it's a repeat of the 1992 season. State Champs! I played against them at that time and they were awesome. They were a team that was also coached superior. Got the opportunity to coach with them at some time in the last 20 years after college! Go Warriors and look at the banner in the gym from 1992.
    • reply
      by Kyle on Mar 8, 2012 at 07:46 AM in reply to Brian
      Rice Lake won the state title in 1993
      • reply
        by Brian on Mar 8, 2012 at 12:23 PM in reply to Kyle
        Yes you are right. I was thinking the start of the season in 92 but championship in 93. Kinda like the NFL. Sorry guys!
  • by wislady on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:17 AM
    Good luck to the Rice Lake Warriors. Its been fun watching the three brothers on the court together this year . . . a once in a lifetime opportunity. Play well guys . . . it has been a fantastic season.
    • reply
      by sara on Mar 12, 2012 at 01:19 PM in reply to wislady
      1992 state champs...Onalaska
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