Greenfield - The New Berlin Eisenhower girls knew they had the pieces to be a good basketball team but were just not sure how to put those pieces together to make a pretty picture.
On Friday night, they found out just how well everything can fit together, as they sprinted past Whitnall, 70-28, at Whitnall High School.
The Lions stormed ahead, forcing 10 turnovers in the first three minutes of the game. The Lion defense helped fuel senior Jenny Weiland, as the speedy forward scored 12 of her 16 points in the first quarter.
When the Falcons looked up, they were facing a soaring deficit of 16 points and had no answers.
"We played about a complete a first quarter as you can play," Eisenhower head coach Gary Schmidt said. "If we missed, we got the rebound. Our defense created some offense and we really ran our offense well."
As good as the Lions' offense was, their defense was just too much to handle. The way Schmidt saw it, they were absolutely relentless.
The Falcons managed just six shot attempts from the floor in the second quarter and made just one of them. Elizabeth Menden and Emily Yahnke both added a free throw as the Falcons finished with just four points in the period.
"We are not in this position very often at Whitnall," Falcons head coach Keith Larson said. "You have to give them a ton of credit. They really are a great team on both offense and defense. They got anything they wanted tonight."
The lone bright spot for the Falcons (8-5, 5-4 Woodland East) was senior Jackie Gruszka, who scored 12 points. The forward did all she could do to keep the game close in the first quarter as she hit a pair of 3-point field goals.
"We just have to try and learn from this game," Larson said. "It is tough but you have to move on and get better day after day."
Eisenhower (11-1, 8-1 Woodland West) continues to get big nights from Weiland and Sammy Kozlowski (14 points), but it was senior Katie Lang that did all the little things that go unnoticed. She finished with eight points while patrolling the paint, forcing Whitnall to try and score from a distance.
"Whitnall changed up their defenses a few times so we had to really focus on communication," Lang said. "We really take pride on our defense every day. We are starting to play well as a team."
Added Schmidt: "I think the best Eisenhower basketball is yet to come; that's our goal."
The Lions next visit Shorewood at 7:30 p.m. Friday, then host Cudahy at 7:30 Jan. 22. Whitnall welcomes Pewaukee at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Wauwatosa West at 7:30 Jan. 22.
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