A tough first half did the Wauwatosa East girls basketball team in against Sussex Hamilton on Dec. 13, as the Red Raiders fell, 63-52, to the Chargers.
Tosa East turned the ball over 18 times, 13 of which were unforced, in the opening half and trailed, 31-21, at halftime.
"We turned the ball over far too many times, especially early in the first half," Tosa East coach Rob Hamill said. "We didn’t capitalize on the opportunities that were there on the offensive end when we didn’t turn it over.
"We simply have to do a better job of being ready to play early in our games. If we do that, I think we have a solid shot against every team on our schedule."
The Red Raiders battled back in the second half, pulling to within 4 points with just over two minutes to play. However, Hamilton went to a stall in the final two minutes and forced the Red Raiders to foul. The Chargers then knocked down their free throws to seal the win.
Charger senior Macy Williams poured in 26 points, including hitting four of five 3-point attempts.
After turning the ball over 18 times in the first half, Tosa East committed just six miscues in the second half.
"I think that says a great deal about why the game was a very competitive one with the result very much in question for both teams," Hamill said. "Our defense also was responsible for making life more difficult for Hamilton.
"In the first half, we allowed them 32 shots, of which they made 13. They had just 22 attempts, of which they made nine in the second half. I think the turnover stat and the number of shots attempted are directly related."
Red Raider sophomore Brooklyn Blackburn led Tosa East with 28 points. Senior forward Johanna Taylor added 10 points, while junior forward Elizabeth Bueckers had 7 points.
"Brooklyn's makes were a mix of inside and outside," Hamill said. "She played well on the offensive end and took advantage of what was there."
Tosa East's game against Divine Savior Holy Angels on Dec. 16 was postponed due to last weekend's winter storm. The game is rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 7.
The Red Raiders were scheduled to play a nonconference game at Nicolet on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Tosa East will return home to face Cudahy at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28.