Onalaska continues to climb - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Onalaska continues to climb

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The Onalaska Hilltoppers continued reaching new heights in 2013. Fewer than 48 hours separates Onalaska from it's first ever title defense at the WIAA State Tournament.

The Hilltoppers' date with destiny sees them pitted in a showdown with Pulaski. The Red Raiders ended the regular season ranked second only to Onalaska.

Hilltopper players and coaches have spent the week preparing, and said they know what to expect from the Pulaski both through film study, and personal experience.

Senior Matt Thomas said, "Actually growing up, in middle school we played Pulaski a lot. [This] group of seniors have played against some of those kids a lot. Then [I was] playing against them in AAU a little bit too."

"They're very solid," said Onalaska Head Coach Craig Kowal. "They kind of remind me a little bit of our team: not real big, pretty athletic, a premiere Division 1 guard."

"They sometimes run a 1-3-1 but they like to run man against better teams," added senior Clint Rihn.

Senior Connor Helgeson said, "They kind of walk it up the court, kind of like slow the game down. We'll have to adjust to that a little bit because we like to run, but I think we'll be able to adjust to it well."

If you don't make the trip to Madison you can still see Friday's game on WXOW or online at wxow.com. Onalaska and Pulaski play at 1:35 p.m., while in D3, Aquinas meets Little Chute at 9:05 Friday morning.

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