Young basketball team showing progress, coach says

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

The goal for first-year East Troy girls basketball coach Maurya Lomen continues to be steady progress for her young squad.

With that progress will come success – and last week, the Trojans tasted some of the fruits of all their labor.

East Troy posted its first victory of the season with a 59-44 Rock Valley Conference decision Dec. 5 at Parkview. Two days later, the Trojans fell, 76-61 to Whitewater, and with the split, moved to 1-5 overall and 0-5 in the RVC heading into a home game Tuesday night against Jefferson.

Results of that contest were unavailable by press time.

“Parkview was a good road victory,” Lomen said. “We actually did not shoot very well, but had more success rebounding, (which) has been our focus lately. We continue to put up a fair amount of points, but have not shot very well. We need to rebound.”

East Troy led, 29-20 at halftime, and extended that advantage by six points the rest of the way to pick up the 15-point win.

Mackenzie Lindow led the way with 13 points, three steals and eight rebounds, followed by Erin Rice with 10 points and seven rebounds and Addy Lomen with 10 points and five rebounds.

East Troy had just 13 turnovers, which was a key to the win, Lomen said.

“The girls took care of the ball throughout the whole game,” she said. “We are emphasizing good fundamentals, and against Parkview, that enabled us to finish with a win.”

Tough start

The Trojans came out slowly against Whitewater, as the Whippets held a 43-26 halftime lead and cruised from there.

Whitewater, which won the Division 3 state title in 2015, scored the game’s first 13 points before the Trojans could get a shot attempt. The Whippets also had 12 offensive rebounds in the first 18 minutes.

“Even with that type of deficit, the girls dug in and fought the whole game,” Lomen said.

Lindow led East Troy with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals, followed by Jenna Gulig with 12 points and five rebounds, Rice with 14 and Lomen with seven.

Gulig gave the Trojans a solid spark, Lomen said.

“Jenna continues to get better, and she has shown that she isn’t going to get pushed around under the basket,” she said. “She has had a great work ethic in practice and has been doing the little things I ask of her daily. She is only 5-9 but still battles for rebounds.

“We have been looking for someone that would be an enforcer underneath, and in the last few games, she has proven she is up for the task.”

While she is pleased with the progress, Lomen added her team needs to keep working on the defensive side of the court to see continued success.

“We can’t give up 70-plus points and expect to win,” she said. “As a staff, we have gone back to my defensive roots, and we have worked relentlessly on defense and rebounding. We need to do more than make our opponents shoot poorly from the outside. We need to finish and rebound.

“I know the girls have the heart to do it. We were down double digits against Whitewater, and I still had kids diving for loose balls. They want to compete, that I can say with certainty. We are young, and we are asking them to do things they have never been asked to do before. We will get there.”

 
 

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