The Spartans opened the week by beating Oak Creek in a hard-fought 48-38 victory Nov. 27 at home, then suffered their first loss of the year Friday at Waukesha South, 45-43.
Against Oak Creek, East led 13-8 after one period and that 5-point margin was the biggest of any quarter. The Spartans expanded the lead to 24-17 at intermission and after a 10-10 third period, used a 14-11 fourth period to reach the final 10-point margin.
"The game was about tempo," coach Matt Malett said. "We want to go faster, and they wanted to play possession basketball. They defended well in the backcourt and they hurt us with offensive rebounds. They had four in the first half."
Senior captain Ryan McBride led the way with 14 points, followed by Jake Wiesmueller's 13, Jonathan McGinley's 11 and senior captain Mike Eberle's 10, the only four Spartans to score.
McBride nailed two 3-pointers, and McGinley added two baskets to lead the first quarter run. McBride then scored five of the 11 points in the second period to finish with 11 points at intermission, while McGinley had seven.
Eberle then scored five of East's 10 third-quarter points and Wiesmueller poured in seven of his team's 14 fourth-quarter points as the Spartans had excellent balance throughout the game.
"I am happy guys are stepping up," said Malett when asked about the balanced scoring. "With the injuries (Brian Smith, Mike Nowak), guys who usually stay in the background have stepped up. I'm happy with the point distribution."
In the heartbreaking loss at Waukesha South on Friday, the Spartans led 10-8 after one quarter and then played to an 11-11 tie in the second quarter.
After the Blackshirts came out, they doubled the score (16-8) in the third quarter to overcome a 21-19 half-time deficit.
Waukesha South trailed 21-12 in the second quarter, when the Blackshirts started to find their rhythm and went on a 7-0 run to end the first half and an 8-0 run to open the second half. Trent Prater, who had nine points on 3s, hit two of them in that stretch.
The Spartans were hurt at the free-throw line, sinking nine of 16, while the Blackshirts finished 16-of-25.
"We kept at it; for the most part we didn't panic," Malett said. "We could have done a couple things better. Look at the free throws, we want that reversed."
McBride continues to lead the Spartans, drilling in 19 points, which included six of seven from the free-throw line. McGinley also stepped up with 11 points, while Eberle added six. Tyree Pope led Waukesha South with 15 points.
"Being a senior, Ryan has put in a ton of hours in the summer," Malett said. "He shot a lot of jumpers in open gyms. He is starting to see it pay off with his increased range."
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