With the DeForest boys basketball team on the brink of having its season come to an end, senior Trey Schroeder took it upon himself to change the fortunes of the Norskies in their WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal game with visiting McFarland.
“As a senior leader and four-year varsity player it is my job to take over in situations like this,” Schroeder said. “I had to make big plays.”
The third-seeded Norskies trailed by 10 points, 44-34, with 7 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in regulation, but Schroeder led a comeback effort to force the game into overtime, where DeForest prevailed 63-60.
“McFarland played really hard,” Schroeder said. “They out-played us, but we dug deep and made plays to win.”
Schroeder scored 18 of his game-high 25 points over the final eight minutes of regulation and overtime.
“That is what seniors do and Trey was fantastic,” DeForest coach Craig Weisbrod said. “I’m really happy to see him take charge like that. It was a pleasure to watch. He was a true leader.”
The win put the Norskies into the regional championship game against Monroe.
“You have to give McFarland credit they played extremely hard,” Weisbrod said. “I was glad we recovered. We did not panic.”
Trailing by four, 55-51, with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation, the Norskies got baskets from Schroeder and Nolan Hawk to force overtime.
Schroeder opened the extra period with a layup, but the Spartans tied the game with a pair of free throws by Pete Pavelec.
Max Weisbrod and Schroeder combined for four straight free throws to put DeForest up 61-57 with 2:14 remaining in overtime.
McFarland’s Max Hanson hit a three-pointer with 1:52 remaining to cut the deficit to 61-60.
The Norskies’ Jahyl Bonds sank a pair of free throws with 14 seconds remaining to make up the final margin.
The Spartans missed a three-pointer attempt at the buzzer.
“We made some changes defensively and it led to some turnovers late in the game,” Weisbrod said. “We took them out of their offense.”
The teams traded baskets at the start of the game before McFarland grabbed a little momentum after going up 18-12.
DeForest tied the game at 19 on a three-pointer by Bonds, while Hawk gave the Norskies the lead, 21-19, a short time later.
The Spartans answered with seven straight points to go up 26-21.
McFarland held a 26-23 lead at halftime.
“Our offense was very stale,” Schroeder said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well, but we won the game and that is all that matters.”
Pavelec had a big start to the second half. He helped the Spartans build a double-digit lead, 44-34, after scoring 14 points during an 18-11 outburst to open the second half.
Schroeder then led the comeback.
Bonds and teammate Devin Magli both finished with 10 points, while Weisbrod added nine.
Magli paced DeForest with seven rebounds, while Bonds and Weisbrod had five each. Weisbrod added a team-high six assists, while Magli had a team-best four steals.