WINNEBAGO – With all-time leading scorer Trey Woolsey, Oregon’s basketball team has seen firsthand how one player can take a game over. In a 69-63 loss to Winnebago in a 2A regional semifinal, the Hawks saw how an opponent could do that.
Derek Rosenstiel scored 39 points and led his team back from a 32-25 halftime deficit on nine 3-pointers, which tied a school record. He also set a school record for 3s in a season with 77.
“He was phenomenal,” Oregon coach Quinn Virgil said. “We gave him a little space early. Then he hit some bombs. Those shots in the third quarter were huge.”
Rosenstiel gave the Hawks an inkling of what they were in store for with a basket to start the third quarter. Josh Sitze, who had three steals, matched that with a basket and Oregon still led by seven.
Then, the nightmare that was Rosenstiel turned the game on its head with three straight 3s on his way to 18 third-quarter points. Particularly damaging was a 3 that bounced off the glass after Oregon could not corral the ball on Winnebago’s second missed shot.
“We got a little worn down in the third quarter,” Virgil said. “They were getting the long rebounds, and it’s tough on your composure when you’re up seven and then down seven. A 14-point swing is demoralizing.”
Winnebago increased that lead to 61-47, and Woolsey drew his fourth foul on his second charge of the half. Eli Rufer gave a spark with two straight scores, and Woolsey came back in for another four points.
After Riley Birnbaum added another four points, including two off a steal, the lead was down to 63-58. Woolsey added another five points, but it wasn’t enough to offset five free throws by ’Bago to close out the game.
“We were glad it was about Derek winning the game for us, not Trey winning it for them,” Winnebago coach Joe Murphy said. “I have so much respect for Trey and how hard he worked to keep his team in the game.”
Winnebago had no answer for Woolsey early, as the 6-foot-3 senior made his first six shots to stake Oregon to a 16-9 lead. Meanwhile, the Indians only made 6 of 26 shots in the early going.
What kept them in the game was a 19-13 rebounding edge, a couple of missed layups by Oregon, and an inability by the Hawks to get the ball thrown in on inbounds plays. Twice they threw it away, and a couple other times had to use timeouts.
“Their pressure got to us and we had to burn timeouts we could have used later,” Virgil said.
Still, it was Woolsey looking unstoppable with 20 first-half points and assisting on two scores by Birnbaum. It wasn’t until junior Owen Ketter came off the bench late in the second quarter and made two free throws and a buzzer-beating 3 that someone other than those two scored for Oregon.
“That was huge by Ketter,” Virgil said. “I felt confident going in at half. We came out and executed, had good looks at the basket, and worked well on defense, especially on transition.”
After Winnebago’s surge to start the second half, Oregon worked its way back within 47-38 on a Birnbaum score, but ended the disastrous third quarter with three turnovers and a pair of missed shots. A 3 by Rosenstiel closed out a 27-8 scoring advantage by the Indians.
“We were tight early and couldn’t hit a shot,” Murphy said. “The team [Oregon] that has already played is looser. At least we were able to get on the boards.”
Woolsey closed out his career at Oregon with 34 points in his final game.
“I wouldn’t want it to end it with anybody but this team and coaches,” Woolsey said.