Wauwatosa West's boys basketball team made its season opener a memorable one.
Playing in the Fresh Coast Classic at UW-Milwaukee's Klotsche Center, the Trojans outlasted Milwaukee Hamilton for a 100-94 victory in double overtime on Nov. 25.
Tosa West came out strong, grabbing a 47-37 lead at halftime. Milwaukee Hamilton, expected to be one of the top teams in the City Conference, fought back to force overtime by outscoring the Trojans, 43-33, in the second half.
"It would have been a tough way to start the year after surrendering a lead like that, but our guys stuck together," Wauwatosa West coach Chad Stelse said. "They continued to share the ball when the game got tight and made more positive plays down the stretch of regulation and the overtime periods to secure the win."
With Tosa West down three with just under 1 minute left in the first overtime, Seveon James tied the game with a 3-pointer off a drive and kick.
"He shot it with confidence and hit nothing but net," Stelse said. "It was big for our team’s confidence. It was almost as if, 'No, we have had the lead for most of this game, we aren’t going anywhere.'"
Alou Dillon gave the Trojans the lead with two free throws with 20 seconds to play. Washington's Keontae White was fouled on the other end with eight seconds left and sunk both free throws to tie the game.
Tosa West then put the ball in the hands of Dillon, but he missed a potential game winner.
"We gave the ball to Alou and spread the court," Stelse said. "I give him credit; he attacked hard on the right wing and just missed. Alou might have settled for a perimeter shot last season, but in the timeout, we told him to attack to get the line or win it from the field, and he just missed."
The Trojans took the lead early in the second half and continued to attack the rim for layups. Tyrone Powell finished an alley-oop dunk that put Tosa West up six points with 30 seconds left.
Powell led Tosa West with 25 points and seven rebounds while going 11-for-15 from the field. Dillon finished with 20 points and nine rebounds, while James scored 17 points and junior guard LaRon Perine added 15 points. Sophomore guard Marquiss Childs had eight points and 12 assists, two shy of a school record. Senior forward Javaree Jackson added eight points and 14 rebounds.
The Trojans shot 54 percent from the field and connected on 8 of their 20 3-point attempts.
"Tyrone and Alou did a great job of finding each other in the open court after our guards broke the defense down," Stelse said. "Alou found Tyrone on three different occasions for great lob passes over the defense, and Tyrone did a great job of finishing around the rim with aggressively. They are both long and athletic, and when they are playing with high energy, they can be very difficult to guard."
The Wildcats were paced by junior guard Keontae White, who went 15-for-17 from the foul line en route to finishing with a game-high 31 points. Senior guard Equan Ards added 22 points, and sophomore forward Carlos Ramsey chipped in with 14.
"We obviously did a great job of scoring the ball, but our defense needs to improve," Stelse said. "The style of game led to a high-scoring attack from both teams, but our defensive energy and execution must improve."
Tosa West was scheduled to host Milwaukee Career & Tech Ed. on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The Trojans will open Woodland Conference play at South Milwaukee on Tuesday, Dec. 2.