The Wauwatosa West boys basketball team had a good week. Except for a missed free throw, it might have been even better.
The Trojans are 10-7, 6-6 in the rugged Woodland Conference West. They played Pewaukee (14-3, 9-3) on Feb. 9 and host state-ranked New Berlin Eisenhower (17-1, 11-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, and Milwaukee School of Languages (5-10) at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13.
They won six of seven games going into this week. Last week they beat Greendale, 61-55, in overtime Feb. 2 on the road and then beat New Berlin West, 67-58, on Feb. 5, also on the road.
Trailing 52-51 with 8 seconds left, West had the ball side out. The Trojans tried to get the ball to Alou Dillon, but the Panthers did a good job of denying him the inbound pass. The ball went to sophomore LaRon Perine in the corner.
'I was impressed with LaRon's court awareness,' West coast Chad Stelse said. 'He didn't panic and shoot a contested 3 in the deep corner; instead he shot faked, drove baseline and got fouled in the act of shooting with four seconds left.'
Greendale called timeout to ice Perine, and he missed the first one.
'But I give him a ton of credit for keeping his poise and nailed the second one to force overtime,' Stelse said.
Greendale got the tip, but West stopped them on first possession. Then an extremely patient Trojan team on their first possession found a cutting Marquiss Childs for a layup to take a 54-52 lead.
'But then they got fouled and made their free throws,' Stelse said. 'We had a couple costly turnovers, and then they took advantage and pulled away in OT.'
Stelse felt his team displayed some poor shooting.
'Both games (against) Greendale we shot awful,' he said. 'But at some point, you have to give the other team credit for that. They did another outstanding job on Alou and contained our other guys as well.'
'We were down most of the game, but we gave ourselves a chance down the stretch with solid defense, ball movement and execution. If we don't dig ourselves a hole earlier in the game, I like our chances getting the 'W' on the road, but it didn't happen.'
Rayvon Bartlett, Jr. led the way with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Dillon had 12 points and 10 points but struggled from the floor, hitting only four of 17 shots from the field (.235).
Childs had 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals, and Tyrone Powell had 9 points and eight rebounds.
New Berlin West
The Trojans used a pressure defense to take a 34-26 lead into halftime with the Vikings on Friday.
'We were going back and forth for the first 10 minutes or so; then we went more up-tempo and picked up the pressure three-quarters court, which caused problems for them,' Stelse said. 'We extended our lead going into the half.'
They Vikings adjusted, played better against Tosa West's pressure and scored on their first few possessions to cut into the lead and tie the game five minutes into the second half.
'We could not find any flow to our half-court offense and really didn't shoot well for a second straight game all night,' Stelse said. 'They took a 7-point lead at one point with about 8 minutes left. Our guys kept battling despite the poor shooting and kept attacking. Once we got in the bonus, we got to line and capitalized down the stretch. We made our free throws when we needed to, and that was the difference.'
West was 24-for-32 from the line (.750), and NBW was 19-for-23 (.826).
Dillon led with 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots, while Se'Veon James had 15 points, four assists and three steals. Bartlett, Jr. had 10 points and nine rebounds, and Howell added 10 points. Fred Cottrell's 22 points led the Vikings.
'We have a couple outstanding opponents coming up at home this week,' Stelse said. 'Hopefully a little home cooking will get us shooting the ball better. We need to shoot much better than we did this week if we hope to stay with the likes of Pewaukee and Eisenhower.'