The offensive capabilities of the Greendale boys basketball team were well known by Waukesha North.
Head coach Sam Katula and his staff certainly noticed the Panthers' previous outing, in which they scored 121 points, hit 20 triples and had two 40-point scorers in David Pulizos and Nate Thomson.
The Northstars, though, did not let Greendale get anywhere near those kinds of totals and dropped the Panthers from the WIAA Division 2 tournament with a 66-58 decision in a regional semifinal game on March 4.
'Pulizos and Thomson are unreal players,' Katula said. 'I was sweating all night because they are a well-coached team, but I think our defense really stepped up to limit those guys to not that many points.'
Thomson finished with 18 points, including 12 in the second half, and Pulizos tallied 14 points, only 4 in the second half. Clay Kujawa, the only nonsenior in that group, added 16 points.
Turnovers hurt Panthers
Greendale coach Ryan Johnsen, while crediting the North defense, said his team's undoing was turnovers.
'Turnovers down the stretch really, really hurt us,' said Johnsen. 'We had some missed layups as well, but unofficially, I think we had 18 turnovers. Credit some of that to their 'D,' but a lot of that was unforced. If you don't get shots, you aren't going to win many games.'
The Panthers went up 17-10 on a jumper by Pulizos, but the Northstars answered with an 11-4 run to tie matters at 21-21.
Greendale went up 28-24 on an inside shot by Mike Howell, but again, North responded with an 8-1 burst to go ahead 32-29, and the Stars held onto a 32-31 advantage at the break.
Thomson opened the second half with a shot to put Greendale ahead, 33-32, but North's Will McDonald scored back-to-back baskets, giving his team the lead at 36-33.
North went up 46-41 on a shot by Chase Goodings before the Panthers came back. Thomson scored and then stole the ball, leading to a 3-pointer by Kujawa to tie the game at 46-46.
McDonald, who led all scorers with 19 points, cashed in a putback for a three-point play; then Adam Wieczorek netted a big 3-point shot from the right corner to make it 52-46 with five minutes left.
Thomson's 3-pointer cut the lead in half, but Wieczorek connected on two free throws and a baseline layup and Marquis Carter stole the ball at midcourt and converted a layup for a 58-49 advantage with 2 minutes, 20 seconds left.
Greendale committed several other turnovers after that and never got closer than 6 points.
North rebounded well
North more than held its own on the boards against the 6-foot-7-inch Pulizos and 6-8 Kujawa.
'Our guards rebounded really well,' Katula said. 'Chase Goodings, probably the shortest guy on the court, (5-10), gets a lot of rebounds, and that's effort.'
Johnsen said, 'North is a good team; there's no doubt about that. I think a lot of our turnovers were uncharacteristic of us, but again, they (the Stars) made some big shots, they ramped it up on 'D,' and we just came up a little bit short.'
Wieczorek scored 15 points, Carter 12 and Kendall Gould 11 points for the Northstars.