The expectations are high, the schedule is challenging and the talent pool deep for the Menomonee Falls girls basketball team this season as the Indians got out of the gate with a 49-32 opening game victory at home Tuesday night against Catholic Memorial.
"Yesterday we had our goals meeting and these kids want to go to the (WIAA) state tournament and win the (Greater Metro) conference championship," said veteran Indian coach Craig Amundson. "It's hard to do that stuff, but they believe they can do it."
And with good reason, the Indians will build around senior four-year letterwinners 6-1 Erin Crownover, 5-10 point guard Amber Bullock, and 5-10 swing player Mikayla Robertson.
Add into that mix three-year letterwinners 5-11 junior forward Erin Otzelberger and 6-1 senior forward Monica Carlson and the Indians, who are coming off an 18-5 season in 2011-12, are ready to challenge DSHA and Brookfield Central for the GMC title.
Other experienced hands include 5-8 senior guard Haley Precia and 5-4 junior guard Anna Smalley.
Amundson and his veteran assistant Brian Kirt said that this group is interesting.
"There's just something about them," said Kirt. "They listen to us, they work hard for us. Maybe it's because we haven't had five seniors like this in the line-up for a long-time."
"I just can't get over how relaxed this group is," added Amundson.
And the Indians appeared relaxed Tuesday night, as when the Crusaders opened up in a man defense, Falls shredded it, scoring the first 10 points of the game and 16 of the first 18 with a crisp-passing, fast-moving attack.
Almost every basket in the first session had an assist, as the lead went to 18-5. A total of five different people scored as Falls made five of its first seven shots.
Memorial finally wisened up and went into a zone in the second quarter. The Crusaders closed the gap to 20-11 with 4:56 left in the second, but then Falls scored 11 unanswered points. Crownover highlighted the effort with a three-point play that was kick-started by a blocked shot and subsequent outlet pass by Robertson.
It was 31-15 at the half and the advantage never dropped below 9 in the second session.
Robertson led the way for the Indians with 13 points while Crownover had eight and Bullock and Smalley contributed seven each.
"It was a win, and I think we accomplished most of our game goals," said Amundson. "Memorial is a good program and I know they're pretty young this year, but our transition game was very good tonight, especially in that first quarter."
"We hadn't done that well against anyone in awhile."
Amundson said Falls will have to have a lot more of those outbursts as the schedule gets more challenging very quickly. The Indians will be at the Brookfield Central Tourney on Saturday, where they will take on powerful Appleton North at 10 a.m. and then on Tuesday, Nov. 27 they will host Wisconsin Lutheran.
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