The Wauwatosa West girls basketball team has won four of five games, five of seven and three of four in Woodland Conference play.
The Trojans won, 49-34, at Greendale on Friday to improve their Woodland Conference record to 8-7. That was sandwiched in between non-conference games with Port Washington (a 53-49 win) on Feb. 14 and at Waukesha West (a 48-29 loss) on Tuesday.
"I really believe that we're playing well; the kids are getting along well," Tosa West coach Ron Gavinski said. "Our chemistry is outstanding. They care for each other and you can see that by the way they are sharing the ball."
Huge third versus Greendale
Leading 23-18 at intermission, the Trojans went on a 16-9 run in the third quarter to take a 39-27 lead into the fourth quarter. Nine players scored, led by junior Latasha Harmon with 13 and senior Jenna Lahmann with nine.
"Jenna Lahmann has helped a ton," Gavinski said. "She has a good basketball mind. She is usually ahead of most people, so that helps the rest of the kids. She has helped a lot. She has spent a tot of time shooting and you can see the resuts."
A tale of halves
The game was a story of two halves, as the Trojans jumped off to a 32-16 halftime lead, but were outscored by the Pirates, 33-21, in the second half. Harmon and junior Jessica Pike each poured in 15 points, while senior Jenna Engel added 10.
"Jenna Lahmann and Jenna Engel have been great senior leaders for us," Gavinski said.
Engel has put in a lot of work on her free throw shooting and that is one of the ways she leads by example.
"We spend at least 45 minutes a day on shooting - including free throws - and it's paying off now," Gavinski said. "Engel knew she was struggling, so she shoots before and after practice, working on free throws and shooting. That is huge for growing a program."
After scoring 53 and 49 points last week, the loss to the Wolverines was very disappointing, as the Trojans new-found offense disappeared.
They were blanked, 6-0, in the first quarter, but their defense kept them in the game. The offense then took over and they outscored Waukesha West, 16-14, in the second quarter to trail only 20-16 at intermission.
But the Trojans fell apart in the second half, being outcored 28-13 as the Wolverines rolled to an easy win to improve to a 7-11 record.
Michelle Farrow led Waukesha West with 15 points, while Lizzy Connors and Kianna Keller each tossed in 11 points.
Although 10 players scored for the Red Raiders, only Lehmann (seven points), Harmon (six) and Engel (four) managed to score two baskets each.
Assistant steps up
Gavinski wanted to credit his assistant, Ashley Imperiale, for stepping up and doing an excellent job with the Trojans this year.
Imperiale, who played for Gavinski when he coached at Greendale and later played at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Only one coach can stand during a basketball game and Gavinski has given Imperiale an opportunity to stand and coach during games this year, with his assistance, of course.
"She has an excellent way to communicate," he said. "It is easier to listen to her than to this old guy."
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