Brookfield East's Pichler, defense sparks rout of Falls
Spartans' first victory over the Indians since 2010
The Brookfield East girls basketball team will get a clearer picture on how far the program has come on Friday when the Spartans travel to Sussex Hamilton to take on the Chargers at 7:30 p.m.
Sophomore guard Angela Pichler scored 33 points and led East to a 70-50 rout of Menomonee Falls last Friday at East, its first win over the Indians since 2010.
The win kept the Spartans (3-1) in a second-place tie in the Greater Metro Conference, one game behind Divine Savior Holy Angels (4-0). They are tied with Brookfield Central and the Chargers for second place.
"We want to be in the top four," coach Mike Goodman said. "We want to solidify ourselves."
Junior guard Kellie Goodman has seen the difference in the Spartans in coach Goodman's two seasons.
"Three years ago we were a negative team," she said. "But now with coach Goodman, everything is positive. We're starting to connect as a team and everyone is working together instead of playing as a bunch of individuals."
East used full-court pressure and some 3-point shooting to put the game away early.
East jumped out to a 17-8 first-quarter lead, as Goodman, who finished with 13 points, and Pichler, scored seven and six points, respectively, with three 3-pointers between them.
"I was really feeling it today," Goodman said. "And once I got one (3-pointer), I didn't really want to stop."
East still led, 31-23, at halftime, as the Indians could only chop a point off the margin. Pichler had 16 points at intermission.
East put the game away in the first three minutes of the second half with a 10-3 run.
The second half started when Goodman hit a jumper, before Falls' Clare Mohrfeld hit a jumper and Marissa Igunbor hit 1-of-2 free throws.
But then sophomore Sydnee Livingston hit a jumper, Goodman tossed in her second 3-pointer, Pichler scored on a reverse layup and Goodman hit 1-of-2 free throws.
East also closed out the quarter with a 6-1 run as reserve Megan Foley hit 1-of-2 free throws and put in a rebound and Pichler had another reverse layup before Mohrfeld hit 1-of-2 free throws to end the quarter with a 49-36 lead. Pichler had seven points and Goodman six in the period.
Falls cut the lead to 41-33 with 3:49 left in the third, but Pichler scored on a drive, was fouled and sank the free throw and reserve Megan Foley hit a free throw and tossed in a rebound and Pichler put in a rebound as East went on an 8-3 run to close out the quarter.
"Megan Foley busted her butt all week, so I gave her a chance," coach Goodman said. "She didn't hurt us, she played hard. It's showing the other girls if you work hard, I will give you a chance to play."
Pichler had 10 points to close out the Indians in the fourth quarter, including 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
The Spartans were 12-of-15 from the free throw line, while freshman Jen Wandt grabbed 10 rebounds and Mariah Miller had eight points and nine boards.
The Spartans pressed the Indians all night, forcing 13 turnovers by halftime and 29 for the game.
"Our defense is a real high intensity press," Pichler said. "We're a fast, young athletic team. We know how to get those steals. It was working really well because we were executing it."
Coach Goodman was also happy with his team's progress defensively.
"One thing I wanted to get better for the second half of the season was picking up full court," he said. "There is constant pressure for 32 minutes. We do such a good job of getting back, no one has done a good job of getting 2-on-1 or 2-on-2 on us. As long as we get back, we can pick up full court as much as we wanted."
The Spartans scored 70 points on 71 shots, the second most shots a coach Goodman-led team has ever put up.
"We had five 3's at halftime, but only shot 30 percent," coach Goodman said. "We had 71 shots, so the more you put up, the more you have a chance of making it."
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