Trojans lose twice in WBY tourney
Wauwatosa West faces co-leader Pewaukee Friday on road
After going 0-2 in the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout at Concordia College in Mequon on Dec. 26 and Friday, Wauwatosa West will go from the frying pan into the fire on Friday, when they face co-leader Pewaukee in a Woodland-West Division contest.
Trojans (4-6 overall) take a third-place 4-4 record to Pewaukee (9-3) against the Pirates, who share first place with New Berlin Eisenhower, each with 6-2 records.
In the WBY Shootout, the Trojans lost to Wisconsin Lutheran, 65-49, Dec. 29 and Milwaukee Vincent, 64-44, Friday.
The second quarter of both games did in the Trojans.
After a 14-14 tie in the first quarter against the Vikings, WISCO went on a 21-9 run in the second period for a 35-23 lead at halftime.
Tosa West sophomore guard Steffan Brown then put on an offensive show, scoring seven free throws in a row to cut the lead to 35-30 with 4 minutes, 4 seconds left in the third quarter.
Two more WISCO baskets made it 41-30, but a layup by junior Ricky Landers, a 3-pointer by junior Blake Harvey and two free throws by Landers cut the score to 41-37 with 1:58 left in the third period.
Then Anthony Carver had two baskets and two free throws, closing out the quarter with a 10-point lead (47-37).
The Trojans twice more cut the lead to 50-45 with 5:45 left and 56-49 with 2:43 remaining, before the Vikings closed out the game with a 9-0 run.
After the game, Tosa West coach Chad Stelse asked his staff how many turnovers his team had. When told 36, Stelse repeated "26?" When they repeated the real number, Stelse just shook his head.
"Their pressure defense causes a lot of problems," he said. "But at the same time we can take care of the ball better than that. And we have done that in recent weeks.
"We haven't played a team this quick yet. Obviously, I hope we learn from this."
The Trojans, who usually play man-to-man, started in a zone, hoping to control the boards against the Vikings.
"We wanted to slow them down a little bit," Stelse said. "So we went with a zone that we haven't been playing because I've been proud of our guys improving with our man defense.
"But one of our concerns was rebounding out of that. And in the first half we gave up way too many offensive rebounds, second-chance points. We were being active, but out of a zone, we've got to find a body quicker."
Stelse then spoke about how his players' strength or lack of it has affected their rebounding and the ability to handle the pressure.
"We need to be stronger with the ball. We'll learn from this," he said. "You can say its youth or our guys just aren't strong enough yet.
"The reason for the turnovers today, is we are not physically strong enough with the ball. I believe we can do a better job of that."
Brown had 15 points and Landers had 14. Senior Deiondre Cunningham had 17 points for the Vikings and Dez Crockroft had 12.
Three in a row
Milwaukee Vincent used a big second quarter to hand the Trojans their third straight defeat, 66-44, Friday.
Trailing 17-10, the Vikings used a 20-8 second quarter to quickly put the game away 37-18 at intermission. Once again the Trojans played well in the second half, trailing only 27-26.
Nine players scored for Tosa West, but no one made it to double figures. Andre Carroll had nine, Brown had eight and Landers and Harvey had seven each.
Vincent did have that problem as four players got into double digits - Deonte Burton (16), Marcus White (15), Malik Brown (10) and Jabari Hobson (10).
"Our guys need to realize, it's every possession of every game for 32 minutes," Stelse said. "Every time we cut it to five or six, we have a defensive lapse or we turn the ball over. And good teams are going to capitalize on that - which they did."
Despite the losing streak, Stelse is happy with his team's attitude and thinks they're feeling better.
"Recently, I've been proud of the way the guys have stayed together," he said. "They've been working hard, especially after the tough losses."
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