For the Wauwatosa West boys basketball team to have pulled the upset over state-ranked Milwaukee Vincent, it was going to have to do the little things successfully.
Despite hanging around well into the second half, 19 missed free throws and 23 turnovers prevented Tosa West from getting over the hump on Dec. 21, as Vincent pulled away for an 87-72 win.
"We missed 19 free throws," Tosa West coach Chad Stelse said. "We make our free throws, and it is an entirely different game. I don't question our effort. Execution at times was poor, but if we make our free throws, it is a different story at the end of the day."
Vincent, ranked No. 3 in the Division 1 coaches poll, used a 14-2 run to turn a 17-17 game into a 31-19 lead after a 5-point possession by Donovan Griffin with 7:33 left in the first half. The Vikings led by as many as 16 points in the first half, and Justin Brookens hit a buzzer-beating halfcourt shot to send Vincent into the locker room with a 53-37 advantage.
Tosa West committed 15 turnovers in the first half and was just 11-for-20 from the foul line, while Vincent shot 52.6 percent from the field and knocked down eight 3-pointers. Andrew Lewis had 16 points at the break, while Robert Anderson had 13 points and Brookens had 11 points on three triples.
"Offensively, they really took it to us in that first half," Stelse said. "They made some incredible plays. I give them credit. I don't question our effort. They broke us down, and they made plays. Lewis and Brookens showed why they are two of the better players in the area. We had trouble guarding them."
Vincent grew its lead to 68-47 with 12:11 left, but the Trojans used a 17-5 run to pull within 73-64 on a 3-pointer by LaRon Perine with 6:10 to play.
Perine was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit all three free throws to make it 76-68, but Lewis took back over, scoring Vincent's next 7 points to allow the Vikings to take back control.
Tosa West missed 10 more free throws in the second half to finish 21-for-40 from the charity stripe.
"We competed down the stretch," Stelse said. "When we set up the schedule, we knew this was going to be a challenging opponent for us. We were excited for it. We were ready from the challenge. Hopefully, we learn from this. Our schedule is tough. We will continue to battle."
Senior forward Alou Dillon led Tosa west with 27 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Perine added 13 points, while Marquiss Childs scored 12 points.
Three players carried the scoring load for Vincent (4-1 overall), as Lewis finished with 34 points and 8 rebounds; Anderson scored 18 points; and Brookens tallied 17 points in just 26 minutes due to foul trouble.
Taking care of Greendale
Tosa West got back on track in conference play with an 88-68 win over Greendale on Dec. 20.
The Trojans built a 47-31 lead at halftime and cruised from there to move to 3-1 in the Woodland West. Tosa West finished 29-for-51 (56.9 percent) from the field, made 23 of 28 (82.1 percent) of its free-throw attempts and hit 7 of 15 (46.7 percent) 3-point attempts.
Senior forward Javaree Jackson paced Tosa West with 19 points, five rebounds and four steals. Dillon scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds, Seveon James added 14 points and Tyrone Powell had 11 points.
"We shot the ball extremely well for most of the game," Stelse said. "We moved the ball and got great shots. With ball movement and making the extra pass, we have numerous guys that can score on this team. If we do that, we can compete with anyone we play."
The Trojans will face Wisconsin Lutheran in the Rick Majerus WBY Shootout at Concordia Universty in Mequon at 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29. Tosa West will return to Woodland West play on the road at New Berlin West on Friday, Jan. 6.