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Ike-West boys make for classic playoff meeting

Feb. 27, 2012

Although I don't like first-round meetings between two teams from the same city, I have two of them to deal with this week.

On Tuesday night in a regional quarterfinal game of the WIAA Waukesha North Sectional, Wauwatosa West (2-20) played at Wauwatosa East (13-9).

Tosa West, who went into the game with a 15-game losing streak, already lost to the Red Raiders by a 61-39 score on Jan. 7. The Red Raiders ended the season on a down note, losing seven of their final 10 games as they lost their top two scorers because of an athletic code violation.

I don't mind a game like this, because that means that one of these two teams (Tosa East) advanced to Friday's semifinals. I don't expect either team to advance too far based on how they ended the season, so having one of them getting at least one win was fine with me, even though it was against the other one.

But Friday night when New Berlin West plays at New Berlin Eisenhower, I think this is a classic game for the local fans, but not one I'm thrilled about, because it's a first-round meeting.

Eisenhower, which finished second in standings, saw a string of six straight conference titles snapped by Whitnall in the Black Division, is 17-5 and West is 16-6, good enough for third place in the Blue Division.

Looking at their half of the bracket, both teams beat top-seeded Whitnall, with Eisenhower splitting two games, winning the first meeting, 60-58, and losing the second, 57-46, while West beat the Falcons, 51-50, early in the year.

Against second-seeded Pewaukee, the Vikings split two games, losing the first meeting, 58-44, before winning the second, 48-45. The Pirates edged the Lions, 55-50.

Either of these local teams could advance to the regional finals, but it won't happen because someone has to lose the first game.

The Lions played the Vikings early in the year (Dec. 13), winning 50-46 at West, which might mean we have a heck of a game coming up March 2 at Ike.

The Lions have won seven of their last nine games, while the Vikings have won 11 of their last 13. Both teams have been playing well.

Ike's sophomore guard Reed Timmer (17.7 points) and senior forward Keith Kahlfeldt (14.7) and West senior forward Dan Sidesky (20.5) are the stars of these two teams. But in the postseason someone else usually takes over and helps a team over the top.

On Eisenhower's side, look for junior guard Sandro Pesquiera (10.9) to hit some key 3-pointers, but senior forward John Crowley could be the surprise performer.

On West's side, Darrin Sowinski has given coach Jeff Lewiston a solid second scorer (11.4). Sowinski doesn't look like your typical star cager, but all he does is make key plays at key times.

With the loss of Dino Poulos, several other Vikings have stepped up, but look for another senior guard who needs to have his day in the sun starting on Friday: Jordan McKeon.

I can't wait until 7 p.m. Friday.

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