Wauwatosa East's Nate Moore providing offensive spark for Red Raiders
Arndorfer's squad opens Greater Metro Conference play Friday against Brookfield East
The Wauwatosa East boys basketball team has started the season off strong, getting most of its contributions from its nine seniors. But no one has been more important to this team than senior guard Nate Moore.
The Red Raiders beat Racine Park, 61-37, and Milwaukee Lutheran, 71-52, to start the season, but lost at Waunakee, 64-53, on Saturday.
Against Waunakee, the Red Raiders took a 15-8 lead after one quarter Saturday, but a six-point second quarter left them trailing, 22-21, at intermission. The game slipped from the Red Raiders with about three minutes to play as the Warriors sank several free throws down the stretch.
"Before the game, we talked about things we had to do to be successful - defend, rebound, run our offense - and we did not do any of them well," Arndorfer said. "Plus, they physically wore us down."
In the loss, Moore led the way with 25 points and 10 assists. He is leading the Red Raiders in scoring with a 22.0 points per game average.
"Nate worked hard work over the summer," Arndorfer said, "so we're not overly surprised (at his play) because we saw him play during the summer. He's taking on quite a load and we don't want anyone to have to do that."
Arndorfer will get some help when the Red Raiders play at Sussex Hamilton on Dec. 14 when senior guard Anthony Carroll returns (athletic code violation). Mich Dillon, who is recovering from a shin injury, should also be available down the road.
Arndorfer has been pleased for the most part with his team's play and he talked about some of his players' early-season performance.
"Ben Carpenter has really been excellent on the defensive end," he said. "I think he is identified as our defensive stopper. He can also defend on the perimeter."
Arndorfer then complemented the play of his big men.
"(Kyle) Vnuk, (Ben) Mihelich, (Derrick) Hurt. You can call them a big, strong presence for us down low," he said. "And they can come out and guard on the perimeter."
When asked if anyone has surprised him, Arndorfer quickly had a name in mind.
"Our biggest surprise is Christian Tolbert," he said. "He has given us good minutes on both ends. He had some key baskets and has played good defense."
Wauwatosa East hosts Brookfield East, a team that will likely be missing two key starters, to open the Greater Metro Conference season on Friday.
Both the Red Raiders and Spartans are 2-1, each having lost their last non-conference game.
The Spartans, under new head coach Matt Malett, were hoping that injured 6-foot-4 inch guard/forward Brian Smith (ankle) and 6-5 forward Mike Novak (arm) would have been ready for the game.
The Spartans have defeated Franklin (66-58) and Oak Creek (48-38), but lost to Waukesha South, 45-43, on Friday (They play Milwaukee Lutheran on Tuesday).
Arndorfer, who will scout Brookfield East against Milwaukee Lutheran on Tuesday night, feels the Spartans "will be a very dangerous team when everybody is back."
"I'm sure Matt will have them playing with the same intensity and passion that Andy (Farley) put into those guys," he added. "They will battle. This is something the kids get up for."
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