The Brookfield East boys basketball team gave coach Tim Arndorfer and his Wauwatosa East Red Raiders all it could handle for the first quarter of Friday night's Greater Metro Conference duel.
A 17-0 second-quarter run, however, turned a tie game into a 37-21 halftime lead for the Red Raiders and was the difference in their 60-47 victory over the Trojans.
"In the first quarter we gave up way too many points," Arndorfer said. "You hold a team to four (points); we know what that feels like because it's been done to us. We wanted to turn the tide (in the second quarter) and the guys responded.
"We just didn't want to fall too far behind (in the first quarter). Once we built that lead, it was just maintaining it. The guys did a great job of that."
Limiting East offense
Brookfield East (0-8 Greater Metro, 5-11 overall) shot 50 percent (5 of 10) from the floor in the first quarter, including four 3-pointers. The Red Raiders made adjustments in the second quarter, holding Brookfield East to just five shots from the floor, of which it connected on just one.
"We hit a shot, they would come down and hit a shot," said Spartans 6-foot-6-inch senior Mike Novak, who connected on all four of his shots in the first quarter, for 10 of his game-high 27 points. "They sped us up and got into transition (in the second quarter) and it really hurt us because they came away with some big shots out of it."
Tosa East (5-3, 9-6) got it done offensively during its run behind 6-4 senior Kyle Vnuk, who scored all 10 of his points, including a pair of 3s, in the second quarter.
"We got contributions from different guys and that's what we need to get that spark and put some wins together," said Tosa East senior guard Nate Moore, who scored a team-high 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out six assists.
Force to be reckoned with
Despite not taking a shot in the second quarter, Moore was the driving force to the Red Raiders offense with Vnuk and he scoring in double figures while seniors Ben Carpenter and Ben Mihelich scored nine and Anthony Carroll added eight points off the bench.
"(Nate) can score," Arndorfer said. "He can do a lot of things. That pull-up jump shot is his signature move and he had it going tonight. He did a nice job, too, of looking for his teammates."
He had eight points in the first quarter when his team needed answers to the Trojans barrage, and played mostly the role of distributor the rest of the night.
"I let my team get involved," Moore said of the second-quarter run. "If I start not so well, I can focus on distributing and reading the defense for my chances to score. Coach just lets me run the team and be a leader on the floor."
The Spartans' Novak continued to show why he is among the scoring leaders in the conference with another big night as he was the focal point of the Tosa East defensive scheme.
"He's a tough guy to defend," Arndorfer said. "He's an inside-outside player. We didn't close out on him very well in the first quarter. He ended up with a few points late, but I thought our guys responded and kept him from scoring more."
The loss keeps the Spartans winless within the conference, but Novak and his teammates are not letting it deter them.
"We've competed in every game," Novak said. "Everyday coach (Matt Malett) says we have to play four quarters, all 32 minutes. That's our main problem right now, putting it all together for a complete game."
The Spartans remained winless in conference play, dropping a 53-43 at first-place Sussex Hamilton on Tuesday.
The Chargers jumped off to a 24-10 first-quarter advantage and then held off the Spartans who outscored them, 33-29, the final three quarters.
The Spartans were led by Novak with 11 and Mike Eberle with 10 points, Brady Ellingson had 22 points, including four 3-pointers, for Hamilton.
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