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Tosa East girls basketball team seeing positive results early on

Salmon scores 33 in win over Wisconsin Lutheran

Wauwatosa East sophomore Bailey Berlin drives to the basket Dec. 3 at home against Wisconsin Lutheran.

Wauwatosa East sophomore Bailey Berlin drives to the basket Dec. 3 at home against Wisconsin Lutheran. Photo By C.T. Kruger

Dec. 10, 2013

Don't be surprised if you see Rob Hamill smiling.

The Wauwatosa East girls basketball team was 2-0, going into a non-conference game with Milwaukee Reagan on Tuesday before opening the Greater Metro Conference schedule Friday night at Menomonee Falls.

"I think our squad has responded to some adversity to start the season in a real positive way," Hamill said, looking at the past few weeks. "Until the Thanksgiving weekend we've not had a full roster available for practice.

"Multiple players have been ill, we've had some scheduling conflicts with important academic activities, tryouts and various other things that have made it tough to have a full squad at practice.

"To add to the full squad practice challenge, we played the game against Milwaukee Hamilton (48-19 win) on the road, with many players new to the varsity level, eight days from the WIAA mandated first opening date of the girls basketball season.

"With all that said, I'm proud of how the players have toughed it out and responded by playing hard to start the season well against an improving Milwaukee Hamilton team."

Hamill said the senior leadership will play a big part this season.

"While there is still plenty of work to be done it was a good first step," he said. "I think our senior leadership — Katie Salmon, Averie Manke and Natalie Patton — have been an important stabilizing force with the group and I look forward to them being able to continue to lead both vocally and by example."

Tosa East had only one game last week and defeated Wisconsin Lutheran in a thrilling 52-48 overtime contest on Dec. 3.

The game started like a rout, as the Vikings led, 15-3, after one quarter. But the Red Raiders showed some guts and battled back in the second period, 17-9, to cut the lead to 24-20 at intermission.

The Vikings came out and had a slight 10-8 third-period advantage to take a 34-28 lead into the fourth quarter. But East had a 13-7 run in the final period to send the game into overtime at 41-41.

The Red Raiders took over in the extra period with an 11-7 advantage.

Salmon had an amazing 33 points, including 13-of-18 from the free throw line, while Caitlin Knueppel led Wisco with 24 points, including five 3-pointers.

Opening rout

The 29-point rout of Milwaukee Hamilton happened quickly. East had 16-2 and 12-4 quarter advantages for a 28-6 first-half advantage.

Salmon had 21 points and Baily Berlin added 13.

"For the game we got excellent production early by pressuring full court and creating some scores off of the active defense," Hamill said. "Katie Salmon led the way with 10 of our 16 first-quarter points. In the second half sophomore Bailey Berlin ran our offensive sets well and picked up the scoring with 11 points. Other offensive production of note were the eight points off the bench from sophomore Tori Logan."

Hamill likes the mix of the team.

"Overall, we're young but I think we have just enough experience along with a good mix of personalities combined with a higher level of fundamental basketball skill and greater passion for the game that just might make this season a memorable one," he said.

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