It's not like the Brookfield Central girls basketball team was feeling great after a 47-42 nonconference loss to Mukwonago on Jan. 15, but at least this battle was closer than some of the others against area elites.
Central (9-4), whose four opponents have six losses combined, took an early 11-4 lead on the Indians (13-1) before they shot their way back into the game.
"We knew they would come and pressure us, and we were ready for it, and I thought we handled it well early," Central coach Dan Wandrey said. "They made a couple of 3s to get it to 17-17 (at the end of the first quarter), and second quarters have been our bug-a-boo. Our losses to Eisenhower and Sussex Hamilton, those games were really decided in the second quarter."
The Lancers scored just 3 points in that period and went down at halftime, 27-20, but Central hit its shots early in the second game to push toward a one-possession game. The Indians, however, had enough to hold off Central.
"We competed much better, and it felt that way," said Wandrey, whose team was coming off a 15-point loss to Hamilton and 22-point loss to New Berlin Eisenhower. "We lost by five and had 23 turnovers. Throughout the game, we really struggled with their full-court pressure, but when we were able to handle it, we converted it into baskets."
Wandrey said Sarah Fotsch had her best overall game, finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds in addition to delivering a defensive performance that kept Mukwonago post presence Amber Gray in check.
"She's always going to guard the other team's interior threat, and she's really good in that area," Wandrey said.
Central 60, Hale 26
A 21-6 edge after the first quarter ensured there would be no surprising drama in Friday's Greater Metro Conference tilt.
"When we've been the better team, it just seems to be a bit of a mind-set with our kids, a comfort zone," Wandrey said of starting strong. "Lydia Rohde had 12 points in the first quarter. We shared the ball, got the 3-pointers, got the ball inside. … It was nice to do that after we struggled in the previous three games."
Central improved to 5-1 in conference play with a battle Friday at Menomonee Falls.
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