At full strength and on a roll, the Whitefish Bay boys basketball team was just too athletic and long for an overmatched Menomonee Falls unit at the Al McGuire Center Saturday night, as the Blue Dukes rolled to a 64-36 decision.
A devastating full-court press, which the Blue Dukes began experimenting with late last season, was very effective, as it forced multiple turnovers and gave Bay many easy chances at the hoop.
"We transitioned into that (press) towards the end of last year and began using it more this year," said Bay coach Kevin Lazovik. "It gets us rolling, moving our feet, which is always a good thing."
The win was Bay's fourth in a row and third this week as the Blue Dukes improved to 6-3 overall, while the Indians, who were also playing their third game of the week (1-2), fell to 4-4 overall.
"They're good, very good," said Falls coach Ben Farley. "They're talented all the way around. Everyone can shoot, everyone can drive and their length really was really the biggest thing that bothered us. With their size, we just weren't able to get to the middle."
Bay, which features the 6-6 Joe Sherburne, the 6-7 Ryan Olver and the 6-7 Christian Lane prominently in its line-up, broke out to 9-0 and 13-2 leads and never really looked back.
It was 19-8 at the quarter, as the versatile Sherburne had seven of his game-high 19 points in the stanza. Bay hit eight of 12 shots from the field in the first period.
Lazovik said the Blue Dukes had trouble working Sherburne into the offense earlier this season, but noted that the up-tempo, high-pressure game suits him well.
"He did a great job moving without the ball and staying active," said Lazovik.
Bay stretched out the advantage to 25-9 early in the second quarter. The Indians fought back to cut it to 25-13, but had a hard time getting the ball inside or simply getting open looks against the active Blue Duke defense.
Guard Isaiah Johnson put a fine capper on the half for the Blue Dukes, as he snagged a rebound, raced up court and hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 34-16.
The margin never dropped below 15 points in the second half with the final margin being the largest lead of the game.
"Their full-court game gave us problems," said Farley, "but I think we got a little uncharacteristically rattled. We stress taking care of the ball better than we did tonight, but give them (the Blue Dukes) credit. They're good at what they do.
"This was a different environment, a different experience for us (playing on a college court) and that experience will help us. It was a tough week for us. We're looking forward to a little normalcy."
Jake Stauffacher led Falls with nine points while Dontrell Handy had six. Falls hurt itself with just 10 of 21 shooting from the foul line.
For Bay, Johnson helped out Sherburne with 13 while Jake Casey and Miles Sigh had eight points apiece. Lazovik is pleased with his team's progress.
"I think we're moving in the right direction," he said. "We did a good job of passing the ball. We moved it well and we shared it well.
...The press also did what it was supposed to do for us. It created chaos and gave us some opportunities. We also got good stops (in the half-court)."
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