The Brookfield East girls basketball team played well in an opening loss to Whitnall on Nov. 20, but then took a turn for the worse and got blown out by Cedarburg on Saturday, both home games.
The Spartans lost their season opener to Whitnall, 56-52, on Nov. 20 at home, as a second-half rally fell short. They cut a double-digit lead down to three points with 11 seconds to go and had to foul.
"We had a good start to the season," Spartans first-year coach Mike Goodman said. "The girls battled to the final whistle, coming back a couple times from double digit deficits.
"We started a little slow giving up 20 points in the first quarter, but only gave up 36 the next three combined. We also had given up nine offensive rebounds in the first half, but only four in the second. We got better with each quarter and the girls put themselves in a position to win."
Freshman Angela Pichler led the way with 14 points and also handed out eight assists. Another freshman, Mariah Miller, had 13 points while grabbing 13 rebounds. Kellie Goodman dropped in 10 and Natasha Plavsic had eight.
Unfortunately in the 67-45 loss to Cedarburg, the Spartans played poorly after a high-scoring 15-15 first quarter.
The Bulldogs were impressive in the second quarter, blowing out East, 23-8, to coast to a 38-23 lead at intermission.
Senior star Tori Riechers sparked Cedarburg with 14 first-half points, while East got nine points from Emily Utic and eight from Pichler, a good-looking first-year guard. Riechers finished with 22 points while a hustling Miller, who left to receive stitches for a gash over her left eye, had 14 points, 10 in the second half. Pichler finished with 10 and Utic didn't score in the second half.
"We took a little setback from Tuesday's game," Goodman said. "I told the girls from the start, whether we win or lose, as long as we play our best. At halftime I got on them a little big, saying it starts with your brain. It starts with your heart. If we were going to go out with a loss, at least we were going to go out doing our best.
"It seems like we didn't quite get the message right away; but they played tough."
Cedarburg played great defense, but the Spartans had several unforced errors.
"I told the girls there is a difference between mistakes and turnovers," Goodman said. "Mistakes I can live with, but turnovers are just throwing the ball away with no pressure.
"Our shots were cut in half and they got a lot of second-chance points. They (Cedarburg) did a good job, they executed well, but it was also a case of us letting down."
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