Coach takes blame for 78-44 loss to Madison Memorial

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

Putting together a challenging nonconference schedule has been the plan for East Troy High School boys basketball coach Darryl Rayfield since he took over the program.

The 2017-18 season is no different.

East Troy opened its schedule Saturday at perennial Division 1 power Madison Memorial came home on the short end of a 78-44 defeat to fall to 0-1 overall.

“We had a real nice wake-up call, that’s for sure,” Rayfield said. “Madison Memorial will again challenge for the Big Eight (Conference) title and make another run at the state championship.

“They will be the best team we play this year, make no mistake about it. But we would love to have that rematch in February. We have really good kids, and they will bounce back. They always do.”

Rayfield took the blame for the rough start.

“This one is on me,” he said. “I certainly did not have us ready.”

Memorial jumped out to a 37-17 halftime lead and never looked back from there. The Spartans outscored the Trojans, 41-27, in the second half.

Rayfield pointed to his team’s shooting struggles, especially from behind the 3-point arc, where East Troy was just 3-for-23.

“(That fact), numerous turnovers and breakdowns against a nice team usually does not work out well,” he said. “We tried to get post touches because we were not making shots, and you would have thought we never work on it.

“They pushed us out and disrupted our half-court stuff. When we did get the ball inside, we turned it (over) or did not go (to the basket) strong.”

Prior to the season, Rayfield said he was concerned about his team’s ability to consistently get defensive stops, and that seemed to be a problem Saturday, he said.

Memorial had three players in double figures, led by Ian Brown’s 18 points.

“Every year, defensively we’re just not as good as we would like to be,” he said. “We play a lot of basketball here in the offseason, (and) we usually can overcome some of that with our ability to score and shoot. It didn’t happen in this game.”

Michael Polakoski led the Trojans with 20 points, followed by A.J. Vukovich with 11, Nick Bourdo with six and Logan Mitchell with five.

“‘Polo’ stayed aggressive offensively,” Rayfield said. “Nick (Bourdo) and A.J. (Vukovich) rebounded pretty well versus (Memorial’s) size.”

 

 
 

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