Team faces Edgerton on the road Friday night

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

It’s first, and to this point, only loss in the Rock Valley Conference on Jan. 9 may have lit a fire under the East Troy High School boys basketball team.

And that certainly isn’t good news for everyone else.

Since it’s 82-66 setback at Beloit Turner, the Trojans have won their last two games by 45 points combined, including a dominating 61-44 victory over second-place McFarland last Thursday night.

The win improved East Troy to 9-4 overall and 9-1 in the RVC, one game ahead of 8-2 McFarland and Edgerton, who were scheduled to play Tuesday night. Turner is two game back at 7-3.

After a bit of a sluggish first half that saw the Trojans lead by just two points at 24-22, East Troy took control in the final 18 minutes.

“We didn’t take care of the ball early (in the game),” East Troy coach Darryl Rayfield said. “We could have and should have been up eight or 10. We let some opportunities go early. We missed some free throws. But we hung in there and played pretty good defense.”

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Michael Polakoski, who led the way with 24 points, and slam dunks by Logan Mitchell and A.J. Vukovich (12 points) turned a slim advantage into a commanding one, as the Trojans cruised from there.

“The next thing you know, were up 11 or 13,” Rayfield said. “We moved the ball better in the second half, got into transition and turned them over a little bit. We’re a lot better when we can get into transition.”

Rayfield said he was pleased with his team’s defense all night, and added that tightening things up on that end of the court has been a focus.

“We’ve done a really nice job this last seven to 10 days trying to be more accountable to stopping the dribble,” he said. “It’s not that we’re not good enough to do it. We just haven’t been playing to the whistle. … When the ball is in the air, it’s not a shuffle (to it), it’s a sprint.”

East Troy had sophomore Quentin Lottig back on the floor for some limited minutes against McFarland, Rayfield said. The transfer from Badger had missed the last several games because of a sprained ankle.

“I’m looking forward to getting him back this week a little more,” Rayfield said. “He can shoot it. We can always use another guy who can knock some shots down.”

Snow postpones game

East Troy had been scheduled to host Big Foot on Tuesday night, but that game was postponed because of a winter storm that closed schools throughout the county. That game was rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 29.

The Trojans return to action Friday, when they travel to Edgerton for another key matchup in the race toward the RVC crown. East Troy beat the Tide, 75-48, in November.

Since that loss, however, Edgerton had reeled off eight straight wins heading into Tuesday’s game with McFarland – so Rayfield knows his team will have its hands full Friday.

“Edgerton is probably the most improved team in the league,” Rayfield said. “They have a lot of seniors. They played really good defense. They’re more ball control (on offense). They’ll play eight or nine guys and really, really play hard.”

 
 

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