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Wauwatosa West girls basketball team close to turning it around

Trojans looking to get over the hump after dropping last three games

Wauwatosa West’s Abbey Jones led the Trojans in scoring in their last four games. The Trojans host Cudahy Friday night.

Wauwatosa West’s Abbey Jones led the Trojans in scoring in their last four games. The Trojans host Cudahy Friday night. Photo By C.T. Kruger

Jan. 14, 2014

The Wauwatosa West girls basketball team dropped two games in two different fashions on Friday and Monday.

They first lost to an excellent New Berlin West team (9-2 overall, 6-2 Woodland), 51-38, on the road and then opened this week with a non-conference road loss to Nicolet, 37-32.

As a result, coach Ashley Imperiale is still looking for some consistency from her crew.

"This team really shows some flashes of greatness and I'm just waiting for these flashes to turn into quarters, halves and complete games," she said. "We came out very poised and patient against New Berlin West."

But the Vikings took a 14-4 lead after one quarter, before the Trojans battled them in the second quarter and were only outscored by a basket, 16-14.

"We were moving the ball on offense, being very patient, not forcing passes or shots and got some good looks," Imperiale said. "On defense we were executing great, forced outside shots, boxed out and didn't give second chances."

Both teams then took turns making a run, first the Vikings and then the Trojans, before things went sour at the end of the half.

"It was the last two minutes of the half that we handed the momentum to New Berlin and we had just careless turnovers that New Berlin capitalized on," Imperiale said.

"Basketball is a game of runs and untimely runs that your opponent capitalizes on and they can add up in more than just the scoreboard. They can also add up in mentality and they can force you to change your game plan too, depending on when they occur."

Imperiale was pleased with her team's approach in the second half.

"I thought our mentality coming out of the locker room at half was fantastic," she said. "We knew that the 30-18 halftime score should really be 19-18 had we not had those sloppy last two minutes.

"Unfortunately, New Berlin came out just as energized and came out hot. They finished on the offensive end and we didn't. I think we got frustrated by this as they slowly separated from us and our mistakes compounded."

The Vikings outscored Tosa West, 28-13, in the second half. Abbey Jones had 10 points and Ashley Lindstrom had eight to lead the Trojans.

Despite the score, Imperiale was happy with her team's effort.

"The great thing is I thought we played hard the whole game," she said. "We did so many great things on both ends of the floor and are growing in little ways each game, which is all I will ever ask of the girls — play hard and get better each day."

West lost to Nicolet despite a great third-quarter comeback.

Trailing 23-13 at halftime, the Trojans scored 15 of the 18 points scored in the third-quarter, to take a 28-26 lead. But they were then outscored 11-4 in the fourth quarter to drop their third straight game and fifth in six games.

Tosa West (5-6, 3-4) was led by Jones (nine points) and Elise Ditscheit (eight), while Brandilyn Robertson led Nicolet (2-10) with 11.

Imperiale said her team is close to turning it around.

"We're right there, ready to bust open that door and get over that hump," she said. "I just know it. I'm really proud of how this group keeps coming to practice and getting after it, battling, asking great questions."

However, Imperiale said the team must believe in themselves like their coaching staff does.

"Am I disappointed that we didn't take advantage of this chance to take a win on the road at New Berlin West?" Imperiale said. "Yes, but only because I see the greatness in this group of girls and believe so much in them. When they start to believe in themselves as much as we do in them, I think we'll be operating on that next level."

The Trojans hosted Greendale on Tuesday in a game which was rescheduled from Jan. 7 when cold weather canceled school. They host Cudahy at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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