St. Thomas More wins OT thriller in return to court after days of drama
BROWN DEER, Wis. (CBS 58) -- In its return to the court Thursday night after a dramatic week, the St. Thomas More basketball team won a thriller, 83-76 over Brown Deer in overtime.
St. Thomas More was up by 10 late, but Brown Deer stormed back in the final minutes of regulation to force overtime. But the Cavaliers were stronger down the stretch to win.
Top-seeded St. Thomas More will now play #2 seed Dominican Friday night at 7 p.m. at Marquette High.
A few days ago they thought their season was over, now they're one step closer to a title.
Thursday night's game was originally forfeited to Brown Deer after the entire St. Thomas More roster was suspended, but Wednesday a Milwaukee County judge ordered it be played.
So the quest for a state title continues. Head Coach John Hoch says the team has dealt with a mix of emotions. "A lot of happiness, relief, excitement. But they know we have a lot work to do tomorrow."
Both sides traded big baskets down the stretch, as the drama on the court matched the drama that followed the team for the better part of the past week.
Hoch said, "We dealt with a lot of adversity. I think this is great for later on in life. We're going to deal with a lot more adversity later on in life when those guys are adults."
A few days ago the St. Thomas More season was over. The WIAA had suspended every player on the roster after a fight last Friday night.
But in an emergency hearing Wednesday afternoon, a Milwaukee County judge overturned the suspensions and the resulting forfeit, and all players were eligible against Brown Deer.
Sonja Brown's son is on the team. She said, "We're just happy they get this opportunity to play. They deserve to be here, and I'm glad the judge in this case made the correct decision."
St. Thomas More fan Matthew Knorr said, "It's not black and white. It was quite the situation and everyone needed to be heard. I'm glad the decision was made the way it was."
But after Thursday's win there's little time to celebrate as St. Thomas More must squeeze in the next game to make up for lost time.
Coach Hoch said he's aware of everything it took to get his team back on the court. "We went through a lot, and a lot of people did things for us at our school. And I don't think we wanted to let our school down."
Coach Hoch says he probably won't sleep Thursday night, he has to get ready for Dominican.