Muskego - A rude welcome to the Classic 8 Conference was issued last week to the Muskego girls basketball team.
The Warriors' first-ever games in the traditionally tough league resulted in losses of 63-47 to Mukwonago on Friday night and 56-47 to Hartland Arrowhead on Dec. 4.
"We open against three good teams," said head coach Brian Hirtz, referring to the Indians, the Warhawks and Waukesha West, this Friday's opponent at Muskego. "There is nothing easy in the Classic 8. We have a lot of things to work on, and we are not playing to our potential now."
The game against pre-season Classic 8 favorite Mukwonago was tied at 20-20 with two minutes left in the first half when the Indians went on a 9-0 run for a 29-20 halftime advantage.
Mukwonago then maintained that lead through the second half in a rugged game that saw 55 fouls called. The Indians shot 21 of 27 from the free-throw line, while the Warriors were just 14 of 30.
Julia Keegan scored a team-high 11 points and Jessica Cattani 10 for Muskego.
The story was similar in the Dec. 4 Arrowhead game.
Muskego started well, hitting nine of its first 11 shots from the floor and jumping to a 22-15 lead.
"We did a nice job handling their pressure early, taking care of their press and establishing a lead for ourselves," Hirtz said. "The game was fast for us and we got some good shots."
Arrowhead went on a second-period run and tied the score at 26-26 at halftime.
The Warriors were up 39-37 after three periods, only to see the Warhawks score the first 11 points of the fourth period for a 48-39 advantage.
"I just thought we lost our composure for a couple moments and let Arrowhead go on a little bit of a run, let them establish a lead," Hirtz said, "and they maintained that."
Muskego made a run of its own later in the fourth, coming within 50-47, but Arrowhead put away the game at the line. The Warhawks netted 13 of 14 free throws in the final quarter.
Cattani finished with a game-high 22 points, while Keegan had eight points. Renee Bennett was in foul trouble and totaled just four points, the same as Lizzie Terp.
Muskego slipped to 0-2 in the conference and 1-3 overall.
"We feel we have a team that can contend," Hirtz said. "It's a lot of work, with all new teams and getting to know the conference, the players and the type of style."
The Warriors welcome Waukesha West at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, then Catholic Memorial at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18.
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