Scoggins: Fond du Lac Ojibwe's hero tired but happy after three overtimes

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 14, 2014 - 7:32 AM

Davonte Williamson played incredibly in his tiny reservation school’s victory.

The moment demanded a celebration, but Davonte Williamson could barely raise his arms at the conclusion of a triple-overtime thriller. He felt too tired to do much of anything after playing the greatest basketball game of his life Friday afternoon.

“I want to lay down,” he admitted.

His coach apologized for stumbling over his words as he tried to explain something that felt indescribable.

“I’ve never had a game like that,” Earl Otis said. “I’m at a loss for words.”

Even longtime observers of Minnesota’s high school basketball scene couldn’t stop gushing after Fond du Lac Ojibwe — a first-time state tournament entrant and a school with only 34 students — outlasted Canby 85-82 in triple overtime in the Class 1A quarterfinals at Williams Arena.

Frank White, a former referee who has attended the high school state tournament for 30-plus years, waited outside the Fond du Lac locker room just to give Williamson a hug.

Williamson was marvelous with 23 points, 20 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks while playing all 48 minutes.

“In the history of this event, that was one of the best performances ever. Ever!” White said.

The 1A quarterfinals provided a historical milestone as two teams from reservations — Fond du Lac and Red Lake — advanced to the state tournament in the same year for the first time. Red Lake lost to Maranatha Christian 95-67 in an evening quarterfinal.

Fans from both reservations packed charter buses by the hundreds and cheered on the other. Members of the Ojibwe band performed a ceremonial drum circle at halftime. Many of the players on Fond du Lac and Red Lake are friends and former teammates in travel basketball. They carried a communal pride in their shared experience.

“[Basketball] really brings our community together,” Fond du Lac superintendent Mike Rabideaux said. “It gives us something to believe in, something to be proud of.”

Fond du Lac ranks among the state’s smallest schools in enrollment, and the team didn’t become an official high school league program until seven years ago. You’d be hard pressed to find a more fun and entertaining team to watch, though.

Fond du Lac averaged 92 points this season, once scoring 132 in a game. The team looks like a noon pickup game at the YMCA. A bunch of 5-11 guys who love to shoot and play loose and carefree.

Their motto?

“If you’re open, [shoot] it; if you got the lane, take it,” senior Trevontae Brown said.

Who wouldn’t want to play in that system? For them, two passes in a possession is a form of stalling. Everyone has a green light to shoot. And then shoot again. They play basketball like NASCAR drivers — foot on the gas at all times.

“We run and gun,” Williamson said. “Every time we go somewhere, people look at us like, ‘That team is tiny.’ Then they’re like, ‘Whoa.’ ”

That happened again Thursday as Fond du Lac played carefree to build a 17-point lead. It made neutral observers inside Williams Arena collectively say, whoa.

  • related content

  • Class 1A quarterfinal: Fond du Lac Ojibwe 85, Canby 82 (3 overtimes)

    Thursday March 13, 2014

    Canby came back with a big second-half rally but the Ogichidaag advanced to the 1A semifinals.

  • Scoggins blog: Hopkins' stall tactics should usher in shot clock era

    Thursday March 13, 2014

    Time is now for high school league to make shot clocks mandatory

  • Fond du Lac Ojibwe’s Davonte Williamson jammed home the ball putting the Ogichidaag ahead in the final overtime against Canby.

  • (left to right) Fond du Lac Ojibwe fans held a drum ceremony on court during halftime during the game against Canby.] Boys Basketball Tournament, Fond du Lac Ojibwe vs. Canby, Class 1A game at Williams Arena, 3/13/14. Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune

  • (left to right) Fond du Lac Ojibwe fans cheered on their team against Canby.] Boys Basketball Tournament, Fond du Lac Ojibwe vs. Canby, Class 1A game at Williams Arena, 3/13/14. Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 4
Houston - WP: T. Sipp 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 1
San Francisco - WP: T. Hudson 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: D. Fister 3
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 5
Chicago WSox - LP: D. Webb 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 4
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 8 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 0
Atlanta - WP: D. Hale 3 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: M. Parra 1
Seattle - WP: D. Leone 5 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6 FINAL
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 8 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 3
Detroit - LP: R. Ray 6 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: R. Pressly 20
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 13 FINAL
Colorado - LP: F. Morales 5
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 1 FINAL
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 5
LA Angels - LP: J. Grilli 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 5
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: D. Haren 6
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 FINAL
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 21 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Chicago 6 FINAL
Seattle 34
Tampa Bay 3:30 PM
Tennessee 6:00 PM
Dallas 6:00 PM
Washington 6:30 PM
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Houston 8:00 PM
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 3:00 PM
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Chicago 80 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Los Angeles 72 FINAL
Phoenix 75





question of the day

Poll: How closely will you follow the Lynx in the WNBA playoffs?

Weekly Question


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters