Tosa East boys basketball team opens conference season Friday
Hosts Menomonee Falls, then travels to Sussex Hamilton
The Wauwatosa East boys basketball team opens the Greater Metro Conference schedule against Menomonee Falls on Friday at home and then travels to Sussex Hamilton on Tuesday.
The Red Raiders (0-2) play the Indians, who are 2-2 under first-year coach Ben Farley, the former Brookfield East assistant.
Tosa East beat Falls twice last season. They won, 54-46, on the road on Dec. 11 and again, 53-50, on Jan. 29 at home.
The Chargers are the defending co-champs under Andy Cerroni and are 3-2 this season. Brady Ellingson, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard and one of the top players in the state, leads Hamilton.
The Red Raiders struggled against the Chargers last season, losing twice on Dec. 14, 60-46, at Sussex and on Feb. 1, 60-36, at home.
Tosa East has only played twice this season, but the inexperienced Red Raiders showed some talent and depth in two close losses.
After losing, 48-41, at Milwaukee Lutheran on Nov. 22, Tosa East dropped a tough game at Racine Park, 46-42, on Dec. 3.
The Panthers (2-2) had to rally in the fourth period (17-10) to come away with the win, as seniors Aaron Samuels and Jarvis McGee had 11 points each and Harry Canady had 10 to lead Park.
"The game was a battle," coach Tim Arndorfer said. "We had the lead for most of the game, but we let it slip through our hands in the last two minutes."
Arndorfer said the Red Raiders need to take care of the ball better.
"As a whole, we turned the ball over too many times," Arndorfer said. "I know we had 13 at the half. For a team that is struggling to score, we have to value possessions more and make sure we are at bare minimum getting shots. If we take better care of the ball, we probably win the game."
Arndorfer was happy with the defense, however.
"We continued to defend well and I thought we did an exceptional job of rebounding against a big frontline for Racine Park," he said.
The Red Raiders started fast taking an 11-6 lead in the first quarter. They played even in the second quarter (12-12) to keep a 23-18 lead.
The experienced Panthers then barely won the crucial third period (11-9) before taking control in the final quarter.
Tosa East was once again led by Sean Wheeler, a 6-foot-3 wing, who scored a game high 16 points, including a 3-pointer and was 5 of 7 from the free throw line.
Senior Nick Pridgeon had eight points, junior Jackson Telderer had six, junior Jack Mihelich added five, senior Christian Tolbert four and sophomore Bryce Beekman three.
"Sean Wheeler was very aggressive on the offensive end," Arndorfer said. "Something we are going to need more of throughout the season from him.
"We are still looking for other guys to emerge and be consistent on the offensive end. Nick Pridgeon had a nice debut with eight points and his defensive presence had a big impact for us."
Both teams struggled from the free throw line. Tosa East went 10 of 16, while Park was 5 of 15.
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