East Troy High School’s Nick Bourdo scores in the Jan. 12 game against Brodhead in East Troy. Bourdo scored 18 points in the 88-60 win over the Cardinals. (Eric Kramer photo)

Trojans follow tough loss with decisive win over Brodhead

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

When the East Troy High School boys basketball team hosted Brodhead last Thursday, it was a chance for the Trojans to show it could bounce back from disappointment.

It didn’t take long to see they were right back on track.

East Troy, which didn’t play well in its first Rock Valley Conference loss of the season to Beloit Turner three days earlier, stormed out to a 40-22 first-half lead and rolled past the Cardinals, 88-60, to improve to 8-4 overall and 8-1 in the RVC.

Coach Darryl Rayfield said the disappointment at Turner was quickly forgotten.

“After that game, I basically said, ‘These things happen. That’s sports,’” Rayfield said. “You have nights like that, don’t talk about them any more. It’s over. You move on and go onto the next one. You have to leave that one behind, otherwise it will drive you crazy.”

Rayfield gave his team last Wednesday off, which turned into two days away when school was cancelled Thursday because of impending bad weather.

The break seemed to do the trick.

“These guys just came back and had a really, really good game on Friday,” he said.

Rayfield said Brodhead attempted to mirror what Turner did earlier in the week.

“They kind of just packed (their defense) in to see if we would make some shots,” Rayfield said. “We shot it really well and got in transition. When you make shots, it’s a quick cure.”

Michael Polakoski led the Trojans with 28 points, followed by Nick Bourdo with 18, A.J. Vukovich with 15, Jered Brehm with 11 and Logan Mitchell with nine. The Trojans made 13 3-pointers, led by Polakoski with five, Bourdo with four and Brehm with two.

“We had good balance again,” Rayfield said. “When we’re sharing the ball and not hanging onto it, we’re OK.”

The conference standings are bunched up at the top – led by East Troy and McFarland at 8-1 – and followed closely behind by Edgerton and Turner at 7-2.

Rounding out the standings are Evansville at 5-4, Whitewater at 4-5, Jefferson at 3-6, Brodhead at 2-7, Clinton at 1-8 and Big Foot at 0-9.

East Troy and McFarland face off Thursday night in McFarland to start the second round of conference games. The Trojans beat the Spartans, 87-77, in the first meeting earlier this season.

“They’re deep, so it will be a really good (game),” Rayfield said. “It would be a bonus to beat them over there. … It will be a war on Thursday, no matter which way it goes. The team (that wins) will be the one that takes care of business.”

East Troy continues to play without sophomore Quentin Lottig, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury. Rayfield said he hopes to have him back in the lineup next week.

Following Thursday’s game, the Trojans host Big Foot on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.

Trojans struggle in loss

Very little went right last Tuesday in the Trojans’ 82-66 loss to Beloit Turner.

East Troy made just 14-of-34 attempts from the free-throw line and had 24 turnovers. The Trojans fell behind, 29-21, at halftime and couldn’t recover. The Trojans rallied back to within two points with about six minutes left, but Turner knocked down two 3-pointers and three free throws to rebuild its lead.

“We were on the road, (and) it’s a really, really tough place to play,” Rayfield said. “It was very physical. We shot 34 free throws. We’re a good free-throw shooting team. We just didn’t make free throws the other night. They have a nice team. They have a couple losses to a a couple really high-level teams.”

Vukovich had a game-high 31 points, followed by Polakoski with 18 and Bourdo with 13. Turner, which had four players in double figures, was led by Sereno Ferone’s 25 points.

 

 
 

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