Tosa East's boys basketball team's rally falls short in loss to Brookfield East
Pridgeon, Holley, Telderer key late run
There were some familiar storylines for Wauwatosa East's boys basketball team in a 48-45 loss to Brookfield East on Friday at home.
The Red Raiders' inability to play four full quarters and their inability to successfully attack a normal 2-3 zone were the major reasons for the defeat.
"Jekyll and Hyde. That's the way it's been all year," Tosa East coach Tim Arndorfer quietly said afterward about his team's struggles in the first half. "It's a bad recipe for wins."
The Spartans held a slim 9-7 lead after one quarter, but then scored 15 of the next 19 points in the second quarter for a 24-11 lead at halftime.
"The game was lost in the first 16 minutes," Arndorfer said. "It's a virus that has been plaguing our team all season long. We get shots. We just don't make shots. In some ways it's that simple.
"We just don't have someone who wants to emerge or maybe can emerge to be honest. We were 0-for-10 from the arc...against a 2-3 zone. It's unacceptable. Zone us every game. Send the word out, because we can't make an outside shot."
The game was a tale of two halves, with the Spartans winning the first half (24-11) and the Red Raiders the second (34-24).
"First half we were very passive, settling for jump shots," Arndorfer said. "We talked about it in the locker room. You saw the difference in the second half. When we're aggressive, things are OK."
Brookfield East coach Matt Malett knew the Red Raiders weren't finished.
"We knew where we were at," he said. "We're at Tosa East and we knew coach Arndorfer was going to have them ready the second half.
"We knew they were going to pressure us a little bit more. We knew they were going to be more aggressive. We tried to switch it up a little bit, just trying to keep them off balance."
But the Red Raiders came to life in the second half behind senior center Nick Pridgeon, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half and junior wing Drue Holley, who had nine of his 11 points in the third quarter.
"No. 33 Pridgeon just killed us on the boards," Malett said. "He was the guy we were concerned about. We told them before practice, in practice, before the game and he just ate us alive.
"He kept a lot of plays going. We knew they were going to come back with a vengeance and they did."
Trailing 42-33 with 4:48 left in the game, it looked like it would take a miracle for the Red Raiders to get back in the game. But then Ethan Telderer and Pridgeon supplied that miracle, sparking a 10-0 run.
The 5-11 Telderer came off the bench and hit two long 3's, sandwiched around a steal and a dunk by Pridgeon, a fastbreak basket by Pridgeon off a great pass from sophomore Bryce Beekman and a drive by senior Sean Wheeler for a 45-42 lead.
"Ethan is a real hard-working kid," Arndorfer said. "He picked his moments because he was a difference maker in getting us back in the game. We had to find somebody and he really came through. We were even looking at that last possession trying to find a way to sneak him to a corner.
"Together him, Holley and Pridgeon were the difference makers to make it a game."
Malett talked about the Red Raiders' rally and Holley's play on the offensive end.
"He was a huge lift for the crowd," he said. "Again, we have a young team and everyone seems to get a little tighter. The crowd gets into it and it's louder. They made it an interesting game. It was a good one."
But the Red Raiders wouldn't score again while the Spartans finished with a 6-0 run.
The Spartans' Christian Simon, who had 23 points, hit two free throws with a minute left, Dominic Cartier hit a layup and Corey Smith hit two free throws with 21.8 left to play for the 48-45 lead.
Wheeler missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds, but Pridgeon grabbed the rebound and kicked it back out, but the Spartans' Smith knocked the ball out of bounds with a few seconds to play.
Holley then tried a long 3-pointer, but it hit the front of the rim as time expired.
One of the bright spots, Arndorfer said, was the play of Pridgeon, his 6-5 center.
"Pridgeon has had an exceptional floor game the last two games," he said. "We told him that's what he is capable of doing. I don't think he will score 20 for us, but he is capable of getting 15 to 20 rebounds.
"I really applaud him. Even in the first half he was very active. Holley, we talked about being more aggressive just in general, and he turned it up."
Arndorfer reflected on his team's inability to play a full game.
"It's frustrating," he said. "We don't play hard all the time. I don't really know if we have the mind-set for a fourth-quarter team. That's evident in practice. We are trying to find ways to get them there. But we just haven't found it."
Tosa East (1-5 Great Metro Conference, 3-9 overall) plays at Menomonee Falls on Friday and then hosts Sussex Hamilton on Tuesday in conference action.
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