Red Raiders boys defeat Spartans, Indians
Hoops team moves into tie for third place with two solid wins
The Brookfield East boys basketball team gave coach Tim Arndorfer and his Wauwatosa East Red Raiders all they could handle for the first quarter of Friday night's Greater Metro Conference duel.
A 17-0 second-quarter run, however, turned a tie game into a 37-21 halftime lead for the Red Raiders and was the difference in their 60-47 victory over the Spartans.
"In the first quarter we gave up way too many points," Arndorfer said. "You hold a team to four (points); we know what that feels like because it's been done to us. We wanted to turn the tide (in the second quarter) and the guys responded.
"We just didn't want to fall too far behind (in the first quarter). Once we built that lead, it was just maintaining it. The guys did a great job of that."
Stifling East's offense
Brookfield East (0-8 Greater Metro, 5-11 overall) shot 50 percent (5 of 10) from the floor in the first quarter, including four 3-pointers. The Red Raiders made adjustments in the second quarter, holding Brookfield East to just five shots from the floor, of which it connected on just one.
"We hit a shot, they would come down and hit a shot," said Spartans 6-foot-6-inch senior Mike Novak, who connected on all four of his shots in the first quarter, for 10 of his game-high 27 points. "They sped us up and got into transition (in the second quarter) and it really hurt us because they came away with some big shots out of it."
Tosa East (6-3, 10-6) got it done offensively during its run behind 6-4 senior Kyle Vnuk, who scored all 10 of his points, including a pair of 3s, in the second quarter.
"We got contributions from different guys and that's what we need to get that spark and put some wins together," said Tosa East senior guard Nate Moore, who scored a team-high 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out six assists.
Despite not taking a shot in the second quarter, Moore was the driving force to the Red Raiders offense with Vnuk and he scoring in double figures while seniors Ben Carpenter and Ben Mihelich scored nine and Anthony Carroll added eight points off the bench.
"(Nate) can score," Arndorfer said. "He can do a lot of things. That pull-up jump shot is his signature move and he had it going tonight. He did a nice job, too, of looking for his teammates."
He had eight points in the first quarter when his team needed answers to the Spartans barrage, and played mostly the role of distributor the rest of the night.
"I let my team get involved," Moore said of the second-quarter run. "If I start not so well, I can focus on distributing and reading the defense for my chances to score. Coach just lets me run the team and be a leader on the floor."
The Spartans' Novak continued to show why he is among the scoring leaders in the conference with another big night as he was the focal point of the Tosa East defensive scheme.
"He's a tough guy to defend," Arndorfer said. "He's an inside-outside player. We didn't close out on him very well in the first quarter. He ended up with a few points late, but I thought our guys responded and kept him from scoring more."
Added Novak: "They were fronting me, then they had help on the opposite block, so it was hard to get anything going in the post."
The loss keeps the Spartans winless within the conference, but Novak and his teammates are not letting it deter them.
"We've competed in every game," Novak said. "Everyday coach (Matt Malett) says we have to play four quarters, all 32 minutes. That's our main problem right now, putting it all together for a complete game."
The Red Raiders were back at home Tuesday and they came up with a big 53-50 win over Menomonee Falls, sweeping both games from the Indians this season.
The game was a back-and-forth first half, as Tosa East jumped off to a quick 14-7 lead, only to see the Indians come up with a 22-16 second quarter, the only high-scoring quarter in the game.
Leading 30-29 at intermission, the Red Raiders and Indians were in a dogfight the rest of the night.
A 10-9 third-period advantage gave Tosa East a 40-38 advantage going into the fourth period. The Red Raiders then outscored Falls, 13-12, to earn the three-point win.
Once again Arndorfer received good balance from his squad as four players finished in double figures, while Falls managed just one.
Mihelich led Tosa East with 15 points, while Carroll had 11, Moore added 10, as did Derrick Hunt. Devon Nauer had 17 for Falls and Juwan McCloud had 10.
The Red Raiders now host first-place Sussex Hamilton (16-1, 9-0) at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1. They then travel to West Allis Hale on Feb. 5 to battle the Huskies (9-8, 2-7).
Tosa East dropped a 60-46 decision to the Chargers back on Dec. 14 while they defeated the Huskies, 71-34, on Dec. 18.
The Red Raiders are working on a four-game win streak.
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