Stoughton and Monroe figured to be among the top contenders for the Badger South Conference title coming into the season.
The first meeting between the two teams Friday, Dec. 13, was a classic. After three overtimes, the Cheesemakers emerged with a 79-76 road win over the Vikings.
Stoughton earned a 49-39 Badger South road win over Edgewood at Earl J. Wilke Gymnasium on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Monroe 79, Stoughton 76, 3OT
Adam Hobson poured in a team-high 30 points for the Vikings. He went 14-for-16 from the free-throw line.
“He was special,” Stoughton coach Nolan Weber said of Hobson. “We’d like to see him be a little more efficient, but he made some big plays to keep us in it. That’s what good seniors do.”
Stoughton (5-1, 2-1 Badger South) came into the game ranked fourth in Division 2 in the first WisSports.net Coaches Poll, but never led in the third overtime.
Nathan Hutcherson fouled out with 1:20 left in the third OT. Hobson missed two 3-pointers in the final 20 seconds that would have tied the game, the final one rimming out as time expired.
Stoughton’s Cael McGee fouled out with 3:12 left in the second overtime, but the Vikings rallied. Hobson drilled a 3 from the top of the key to give Stoughton a 66-65 lead with 1:11 left in the period, and Reece Sproul made a layup in transition 30 seconds later.
Monroe forced a third overtime thanks to the heroics of Carson Leuzinger, who converted a three-point play after being fouled shooting a jumper with 20 seconds left in the second OT.
Leuzinger and Cade Meyer scored all 11 of the Cheesemakers’ points in the third OT. The 6-foot-8 Meyer finished with a game-high 32 points and controlled the boards, and Leuzinger helped with 18.
“The biggest thing was rebounding. They’re big too, but that’s an area we should dominate,” Weber said. “Playing some zone makes it tougher to rebound, but it hurt to give them extra possessions.”
Stoughton led 60-56 with a minute left in the first overtime, but Meyer made a layup to tie it at 61 with 11 seconds left in the extra period. McGee had a jumper go long as the horn sounded.
The second half featured five ties and seven lead changes. McGee made a layup and Hobson sank four free throws in a row to put Stoughton ahead 54-50 with 54 seconds left in regulation.
Leuzinger capped Monroe’s rally with a 3 to tie it at 55 with 15 seconds left, and Hobson’s 3 at the buzzer clanged off the back iron.
Stoughton made its first three shots of the game and led 7-0. Hobson drilled a pullup jumper off the opening tip, Hutcherson canned a 3, and Barrett Nelson made a layup.
Monroe answered with seven straight points to tie it, one of seven ties in the first half. McGee made a pair of buckets through contact to put the Vikings up 15-11, but the Cheesemakers battled back to lead 28-26 at intermission.
“All of the small things matter,” Hobson said. “It’s about beating your guy to the spot and being focused every single play. Those all add up in the end.”
McGee finished with 16 points, and Sproul added 10. Hutcherson helped with seven points.
The Vikings and Cheesemakers meet again Feb. 8 in Monroe.
Stoughton 49, Edgewood 39
Sproul poured in a game-high 18 points for the Vikings, who led 25-19 at halftime.
Hutcherson and Luke Fernholz added eight points apiece. Hobson and McGee pitched in six and five points, respectively.
Michael Regnier paced the Crusaders with 11 points.