There is an old softball cheer that proclaims, "Everybody hits, everybody runs, everybody scores."
It's not the spring season just yet, but the Wauwatosa East boys basketball team has adopted the concept. The "hits" in this case are defensive stops, and everybody runs, and everybody scores.
Eleven different Red Raiders found the scoring column, and Tosa East moved to 6-0, smothering Sussex Hamilton on Friday, 59-37. Tosa East put the Chargers behind early, with Diamonte McKinley scoring 13 points in the first quarter alone to highlight on otherwise balanced attack.
"We're really starting to come together," said Tosa East coach Tim Arndorfer. "We put the offense together with our defense, which has been steady the whole year, and we can be a really good team. Ths unselfishness on this ballclub, it's been a while since we've seen that around here."
McKinley hit all five of his first-quarter shots, including three 3-pointers, and Tosa East finished the first half shooting 13 for 20. In the second quarter, it was Marquise Carter's turn, as he scored 6 of his 10 points. Ten different players scored in the second half.
McKinley finished with a game-high 16 points. Hamilton leading scorer Brady Ellingson had 12 points, but he had a hard time getting open against Tosa East's active man-to-man.
"He tried to put us on his back, and they were hounding him," Hamilton coach Andy Cerroni said. "We had some kids that did some good things, but bottom line, we've lost a lot of close games and weren't able to finish them. You start questioning. ... We had a chance to come in here against a really good team, and they all get on the floor. They're all athletic. They all play above the rim."
Hamilton, coming off consecutive nail-biting losses to West Allis Central and Brookfield East in a competitive Greater Metro Conference, fell to 1-4.
Tosa East took a 19-9 lead after the first quarter and had the Chargers doubled up at halftime, 32-16. McKinley didn't score in the second quarter but did plenty of damage in the first 8 minutes.
"I just got open and found my stroke," the senior said. "I was trying to step up and make some shots. It's better with the pressure to get up the floor and push the ball."
Neither team boasted a great deal of size, so both were prepared for an up tempo game, but the Chargers couldn't find a rhythm.
"We try to take the big scorer away and see if the other guys can hurt us," Arndorfer said. "Collectively, we play such good team defense. There's still some areas of concern with rebounding, but once we clean that up, I think we're going to be a real tough team to beat."
Hamilton 6-6 senior Mitch Willer, by far the tallest player on either team, scored 9 points and showcased an ability to stay with the speedy flow.
"That might have been his coming out party," Cerroni said. "He'll be getting a few more minutes. It was tough for him against this group because they play all guards. He works hard and he'll get better for us."
Tosa East was tested early against West Allis Central but has otherwise won handily in its four Greater Metro Conference meetings.
"I expected we were going to do this," McKinley said. "Other people doubted us, but we all knew we could do this."
Next up is a nonconference battle with another of the area's top undefeated teams, Germantown. The Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout contest will take place at Concordia University in Mequon on Dec. 27.
"I know the kids are hungry to get a chance at that," Arndorfer said. "They don't have a whole lot of weaknesses. We'll try to find some. We'll give it our best effort and see what we've got."
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