East Troy High School’s Michael Polakoski sinks the ball in for two during the Dec. 7 game against Edgerton. Polakoski led the scoring with 18 points. (Eric Kramer photo)

Trojans win two in a row, drop game to Madison East

By Dan Truttschel


When East Troy High School boys basketball coach Darryl Rayfield figures out his team’s schedule, he has a method to his madness.

For Rayfield, it’s vital to put his team in difficult situations against top-flight opponents – with an eye on the Rock Valley Conference schedule and beyond.

And even if that means taking a loss or two along the way, it’s worth it.

East Troy fell behind by 15 points Saturday against Division 1 foe Madison East at the Ron Glaser Hardwood Invite at Milwaukee Washington and couldn’t recover in a 66-55 nonconference loss.

The loss dropped the Trojans to 3-2 overall. East Troy opened the week with a pair of Rock Valley Conference wins, 86-49 at Big Foot Dec. 5 and 75-48 two days later over visiting Edgerton.

Shooting struggles from behind the 3-point arc – an 0-for-10 streak – and 12 turnovers in the first half hurt the Trojans’ cause against Madison East, Rayfield said.

“Madison East put a little pressure on us (early),” he said. “They’re very senior-oriented, they’re physically strong, they’re athletic. … We got off to not such a good start, but kind of hung in there.”

East Troy used a 16-5 scoring run in the second half to cut the deficit to eight points with about 1 minute, 30 seconds remaining in the game, but couldn’t quite close the gap.

A.J. Vukovich led the way with 27 points and 12 rebounds followed by Michael Polakoski with 13 and Nick Bourdo with eight. Jered Brehm added seven assists, four steals and three rebounds for the Trojans.

Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives to come from it, Rayfield said.

“It was really competitive, it was a good game for us,” he said. “(Madison East) is picked to be one of the top teams in the Big 8 (Conference), so it was a good opportunity for us (to be in that) type of situation.”

Two nights earlier, it was the Trojans who took early control in the 27-point win over Edgerton, a team that had been undefeated, including a win over Beloit Turner, until it arrived in East Troy.

The Trojans led by just seven points at halftime, but outscored the Tide by 20 in the final 18 minutes.

Polakoski led three players in double figures with 18 points, followed by Vukovich and Bourdo with 17 and Brehm with eight.

“We had really good balance,” Rayfield said. “We finally started making some shots. When we’re making shots, we’re pretty good. So is everybody, but that’s how we play. For us to hang in games so far this year and not shoot it very well is not that bad a sign, I don’t think.”

Trojans roll past Chiefs

Polakoski had a game-high 27 points in the win over Big Foot to start the week, followed by Vukovich, Logan Mitchell and Bourdo with 12 apiece.

East Troy led 44-25 at halftime, followed by a 42-24 advantage in the second half to cruise to the win.


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