Basketball team continues to show progress

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

This has been a season full of adjustments for the East Troy High School girls basketball team.

But in their final game of 2017, the Trojans put everything together – and the final score clearly showed that.

East Troy jumped out to a 20-13 halftime lead over visiting Westosha Central on Dec. 27 and never looked back in a dominating 55-35 non-conference victory to head into 2018 with plenty of new-found momentum.

The win improved the Trojans to 3-7 overall.

“The kids played well,” first-year coach Maurya Lomen said. “I thought defensively we played the best we have all year. We switched up some assignments, and the girls really responded.”

Lomen said a little extra “nudge” at halftime seemed to do the trick, as the Trojans took command in the final 18 minutes.

East Troy outscored the Falcons, 35-22, in the second half.

“I kind of got on the girls at halftime about not shooting enough,” she said. “We did a good job defensively, but we were not getting up enough shots.

“The girls listened and came out shooting. We also played some full-court man (defense), and the kids caused Central to be frustrated.”

Just about the only area for concern from the game came from the Trojans’ shooting percentage, Lomen said. East Troy was 6-for-28 from behind the 3-point line and 9-for-17 from the free-throw line.

That will continue to be a work in progress the rest of the season, she said.

“Shooters are made in the off-season,” Lomen said. “We shoot every day in practice and will continue to do so. Hopefully the girls will work hard in the off-season to improve their shooting.”

Erin Rice led East Troy with 20 points on the strength of four 3-pointers, followed by Mackenzie Lindow with 13, Gracie Moker with seven and Jenna Gulig with six.

Rice avoided foul trouble, which kept her on the floor – and certainly paid dividends, Lomen said.

“(She) managed to only foul once,” Lomen said. “She does so many little things, and keeping her in the game really was huge.

“Typically, she sits half the game, and the fact we were able to play her a lot resulted in good things happening. She certainly can score, and when she’s on the floor, our opponents have to pay attention to her, thus out other girls can get open easier.”

East Troy returns to Rock Valley Conference action Friday night when it travels to Brodhead for a 7 p.m. matchup. The Cardinals enter the game at 5-6 overall and 2-6 in conference play.

Lomen is hopeful the win over the Falcons will lead to bigger and better things down the road, starting with Friday night.

“My kids seem happy and focused on getting better,” she said. “We certainly have improved since the start of the season. I can promise that no one should overlook us.”

 
 

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