Tosa East's Pridgeon sparks non-conference win over Waunakee
Despite being blown out by West Allis Central, Red Raiders have won three of last five games
After starting the season 0-6, Wauwatosa East boys basketball coach Tim Arndorfer's Red Raiders have won two of their last three games and three of five.
After beating archrival Marquette in overtime on Jan. 10, the Red Raiders lost to second-place West Allis Central, 61-32, on Friday but then beat Waunakee, 47-32, on Saturday afternoon in a non-conference game.
The Red Raiders are now 3-8 and 1-4 in the Greater Metro Conference. They have a chance at adding to the win column their next two times out, as they host winless Brookfield East (2-9), which is in last place in the conference (0-5), on Friday and then travel to West Allis Hale (1-4 GMC, 5-8 overall) on Tuesday.
Controlling the tempo
On Friday, West Allis Central controlled the tempo of the game from the opening tip, opening with an 18-5 first quarter and going into halftime with a 32-17 advantage.
"They are a very talented team offensively, lots of weapons, and they rebound really aggressively," Arndorfer said. "We had a difficult time keeping them off the boards and out of the paint on penetration. They got a lot of easy baskets."
The Bulldogs kept the pressure on with a 29-15 second half.
"They made us work for everything on the offensive end," Arndorfer said. "It was another awful offensive performance for us, and not much better on the defensive end."
Junior guard Brandon Key led the way for Central with 17 points, as he drilled four 3-pointers.
Jerome Cummings, 6-1 junior forward, and Jaquan Martin, a 6-4 senior forward, each added 14 points.
For Tosa East, junior guard Drue Holley was the only Red Raider in double figures with 12 points, as he hit two of Tosa East's three 3-pointers. No one else scored more than four points.
The Red Raiders beat Waunakee, 47-32, handing the Warriors their 10th straight loss to start the year.
Tosa East had a 17-5 first-quarter run.
"I was happy with how the boys responded in the Waunakee game," Arndorfer said. "Less than 24 hours after a pitiful game against West Allis Central, we came out with some energy and efficiency on the both ends of the floor."
A low-scoring second period (8-5) gave the Red Raiders a 25-10 halftime lead.
They held the Warriors to single digits for three straight quarters, as they had a 14-9 third quarter to take a 39-19 lead going into the final period.
Arndorfer was especially pleased with the Red Raiders' defensive effort.
"Defensively it was a great game for us," he said. "We held them in single digits for most of the first half. We did an excellent job rebounding and limiting their second-chance baskets, a major difference from the night before."
Tosa East had no big scorers, but put nine players on the scoreboard, topped off by sophomore guard Bryce Beekman with 10 points.
Seniors Sean Wheeler and Nick Pridgeon had eight points, Ty Ederesinghe had six and Holley five.
Pridgeon also added 16 rebounds.
"Nick Pridgeon had an exceptional game," Arndorfer said. "We challenged him before the game to produce some kind of stats, any kind of stats, and he really came through for us."
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