Carroll leads Wauwatosa East to crosstown victory
Trojans fight back hard in fourth quarter
There was no questioning which squad was superior in this year's cross-town rivalry matchup between the Wauwatosa East and Wauwatosa West boys basketball teams.
East asserted itself Saturday night with a 69-62 victory over host West before a raucous crowd that packed the field house. For most of the evening, the contest wasn't as tight as the final score would indicate.
"When it's East-West, you can kind of just throw the records out," East head coach Tim Arndorfer said. "There's a lot of emotion from the players and the fans. I don't know what I expected, but I thought our guys played aggressively on defense for most of the game. Our defense became our offense a lot tonight, which I think was the difference."
Carroll leads the way
East senior guard Anthony Carroll opened the night with a 3-pointer on the Red Raiders' first possession and never cooled off. Carroll finished with 23 points, including four 3-pointers and a 9-of-10 showing from the charity stripe.
"He had a great game on both ends of the floor and free-throw shooting," Arndorfer said. "I thought Anthony and (senior guard) Nate (Moore) gave us a complete game at guard. Both of them were great."
East led 17-8 after one quarter. West pulled closer in the second and narrowed the deficit to 21-18, but East senior guard Ben Carpenter drew a foul on a three-point attempt from the baseline. Carpenter sank all three free throws and the Red Raiders kept rolling to a 31-20 halftime lead.
"We needed something to stop the bleeding a little bit," Arndorder said. "I don't think we were worried about completely losing it, but it's a big play at an opportune time. A three-point play no doubt helps."
West struggled on the interior for most of three quarters, missing multiple opportunities for easy points inside.
"We need to finish strong around the basket," West head coach Chad Stelse said. "That's something we've been talking about for a year and a half now. Our guys are working at it, but we need to keep at it obviously. In the first half we were getting shots in the paint, and when we don't capitalize like that, it's deflating for us."
The second half stayed ugly for the Trojans, who at one point trailed 55-30 early in the fourth quarter.
"(East) is an experienced team," Stelse said. "They made a lot more plays than we did, especially in that first half and early into the second half. That's what experienced teams do. We need to do a better job of learning how to play in atmospheres like this and in big games. Hopefully our guys learn from this experience and we get better."
A closer match in the fourth
With a comfortable late lead, Arndorfer utilized his bench - perhaps a bit too soon. West scored 32 points in the final quarter -more than their total in the previous three combined.
"We had a little trouble with the pressure for some of our guys," Arndorfer said. "When you have a lead like that, you want to give other guys opportunities. But their pressure, you have to give them credit, they didn't quit playing and it got to us a little bit."
Stelse found a silver lining in an otherwise dismal night for the Trojans.
"I'm so proud of the way they battled in the fourth quarter," he said. "I was disappointed in how we came out. Our guys were defeated before the game even started, which really confused me. I know they were ready to play; our start really baffled me."
The Red Raiders also got a strong night from senior forward Ben Mihelich, who scored 14 points. For the Trojans, Andre Carroll, Nakeem Evans and Steffan Brown reached double figures with 19, 10 and 10 points, respectively.
The Red Raiders improved to 7-6 overall and sit fourth in the Greater Metro Conference at 3-3. They host West Allis Central on Friday, while the Trojans, 5-8 overall and third in the Woodland West at 5-5, visit Nicolet on Tuesday.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Tosa wrestlers bring home three champions
- Sports Note: Dec. 12
- Tosa East girls basketball team seeing positive results early on
- Tosa West boys basketball team continues to roll
- Tosa East boys basketball team opens conference season Friday
- Jones brilliant in Tosa West's win over Rockets
- Nine starters returning for Wauwatosa co-op wrestling team
- Wauwatosa co-ed swim team grows in numbers
- Sophomore Celia Ripple named Tosa East's Most Valuable Swimmer
- Plaisted named boys volleyball state player of the year