WHITNALL BOYS BASKETBALL
The Falcons bounced back from a slow first half to down New Berlin Eisenhower, 46-38, on Dec. 9.
"We got after the players in the locker room (at halftime) and told them they have to generate some enthusiasm," coach Steve Kujawa said. "In the second half, we played great defense, and our defense became our offense with some breakaways off turnovers."
Kevion Taylor led the Falcons with 14 points, and Tyler Herro added 12 points.
Whitnall downed Greendale, 59-43, on Dec. 6 with Herro tallying 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, plus three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Joey Tilley had 14 points and four steals; Taylor 10 points, seven rebounds and two assists; and Dan Alexopoulos 10 points for the Falcons (4-1 entering this week).
FRANKLIN BOYS BASKETBALL
The Sabers found a bit of character on Dec. 9, recovering from an 8-point deficit with five minutes to go to beat Southeast opponent Kenosha Bradford, 56-52, their league opener.
"The last five minutes we ran a lot of traps to pressure the ball, and we wound up forcing five turnovers," said coach Tyler Podoll. "In the last three minutes, we also had three blocked shots, and they missed a key layup that would have made it a 5-point lead for them.
"Marcus (Lee) then then hit a big 3-pointer to tie it, and then Jacob Vonderwell had a steal and layup that got us the lead for good."
The win improved the Sabers to 3-0 on the young season in front of the key game with Oak Creek on Tuesday, Dec. 13 (see OakCreekNow.com for details).
Lee, Max Alba and Vonderwell had 12 points each to lead the Sabers, while Brett Grulkowski added 8.
Franklin will host Southeast rival Racine Horlick on Friday, Dec. 16.
OAK CREEK GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Knights bounced back from a tough defeat to nonconference rival and potential WIAA sectional opponent Rufus King on Dec. 6 to record an easy 65-34 Southeast Conference victory over Racine Park on Dec. 9.
The Knights entered their pivotal rivalry game with Franklin on Dec. 13 at 2-0 in league play and 4-2 overall. They will visit Kenosha Tremper in another league tilt on Friday, Dec. 16, and then will host Brookfield Central in a nonconference game on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
Against Park, the Knights broke out to a 30-10 halftime lead and cruised home. A total of 11 players scored, including Corrine Kurz and Kassandra Bartek with 13 points each; Lea Finn with 11; and Jenna Dankert and Maddie Gard with 6 points each. Kurz had seven rebounds, while Haley Zylka had seven assists and Katie West eight rebounds.
Creek broke out to a 34-28 halftime lead on state-ranked King, but the Generals outscored the host Knights, 37-20, in the second half to pull away for the win. Finn had 14 points to lead the Knights, while West and Jessica McIntosh had 9 each. MicIntosh also had 11 rebounds.
GREENDALE BOYS BASKETBALL
Tommy Kujawa collected 24 points to lead a balanced attack as the Panthers downed South Milwaukee, 80-55, on Dec. 9 in Woodland Conference action.
Vlado Zrnic added 18 points, Matt Thelen 12 points and Quinten Eismann 8 points for Greendale, which jumped ahead 49-34 at the half.
Greendale bounced back after a tough 59-43 loss to Whitnall on Dec. 6.
"I thought offensively, we were much better (than against Whitnall)," coach Ryan Johnsen said. "We took care of the ball better and shot it better as well."
In the Whitnall game, Kujawa totaled 16 points and Zrnic 14 points. The Panthers were outshot at the free-throw line, 17-7.
"I thought Tommy Kujawa was outstanding all week," Johnsen said. "Tommy has been a great leader for us on the court this year."
OAK CREEK WRESTLING
The Knights got runner-up finishes from Matt Berlin at 126 pounds and Nolan Parr at 170 in earning an eighth-place finish in the powerhouse 24-team Battle on the Bay on Dec. 10 hosted by Bay Port.
"We had a good day at Bay Port," coach Matt Sommerville said. "We want to make sure that we seek out tough competition throughout the season in order to be ready for the state tournament. Bay Port is one of the toughest tournaments we have."
The Knights will visit Southeast rival Franklin in a dual meet Thursday, Dec. 15.
Oak Creek scored 338 points for its spot in the Battle on the Bay, as state power Luxemburg-Casco won with 505.5 and Sparta was second with 400.5.
Berlin went 4-1 on the day, losing only to Mukwonago's Aaron Shulist in a 6-4 overtime decision in the final. Meanwhile, Paar was a pleasant surprise, making the 170 finals and recording a 4-1 record, losing only to River Valley's Shane Liegel, 7-4, in the final.
Berlin beat a two-time state champion to make the finals.
Other good efforts included Mitch Landgraf taking third at 120 after losing an overtime semifinal decision to a Sparta opponent. Randall Hunt was eighth at 113 (2-3), while Brandon Lenczner was sixth at 132 (3-2), Joey Colla seventh at 138 (3-2), Nathan Berlin eighth at 145 (2-3), and Jesse Kovnesky seventh at 160 (3-2).
Sommerville was very pleased with the efforts of Matt Berlin, Landgraf and Paar. He said this was a "big statement" kind of effort for Paar and "he put the state on notice". Sommerville also pointed out he's looking to have his full lineup back in action this week.
"If that happens, we will be very tough to beat," he said.
Sommerville noted the varsity reserve team did well at a tournament at Marquette, with Jackson Wolf winning the 132-pound class.
"It really shows how deep our deep is," Sommerville said.
GREENDALE GIRLS BASKETBALL
Gina Sommerfeld led the way with 14 points to help the Panthers top Whitnall, 40-37, on Dec. 6.
Taylore DeLong added 7 points and Cassidy Sanchez 5 points for Greendale, which outscored the Falcons at the free-throw line, 14-6.
Greendale did not fare as well against South Milwaukee on Dec. 9 in a 46-25 defeat. Sanchez tallied 7 points and Allyson Caballero 6 points.
The Sabers struggled a bit in the 24-team Battle on the Bay hosted by Bay Port on Dec. 10.
Their best finish was an eighth-place showing by Steve Djurina at 182 pounds (2-3 on the day). Meanwhile, Alex Riel was 10th at 195 (2-2), as was Noah Rugaber at 170 (2-2).
WHITNALL GIRLS BASKETBALL
Cold shooting hurt the Falcons in two losses last week: 59-20 to New Berlin Eisenhower on Dec. 9 and 40-37 to Greendale on Dec. 6.
Whitnall shot just 22 percent from the floor and hit just 6-of-18 at the free-throw line against Greendale. Jaden Kelley scored 13 points and Sierra Grubor 10.
The Falcons hit 29 percent and made just two free throws against the Lions, plus committing 23 turnovers. Grubor led the way with 6 points.