New Berlin - New Berlin Eisenhower - led by senior Jenny Weiland - used a 19-2 first quarter to roll past crosstown rival New Berlin West, 52-34, Friday night at Eisenhower.
There was no doubt who the best player on the floor was Friday night. Weiland, a Winona State recruit, was the only player from either team in double figures with 18, as she helped Eisenhower to a 30-12 lead at halftime by scoring as many points as the Vikings.
Weiland scored six points in the first quarter to help the Lions get off to a fast start, all coming on fast break baskets, two of them thanks to assists from Kristen Hesselbach. Weiland then added six more in second and Ike was off and running.
"That's one of the reasons Winona State recruited her," Schmidt said. "(Their coach) said 'That's one thing I like about the kid - she is all over the court.' With her size, some people might think she's not that quick but she's as fast as anyone out there, guard or forward, whatever. She's quick and that's what we love about her; she can cover a lot of ground."
The Lions' defense was their offense for most of the night as they stole the ball and used a transition offense, as Weiland had eight points herself on fast break layups.
"We were ready to play and we knew we would bring it because they are our biggest rivals," Weiland said. "We knew we had to push it and get out of the gate. We had not be starting the best these last couple games, so we knew we had to bring it to them."
Both coaches agreed that the fast start was the key to the game.
"We were a little sketchy at practice this week," Ike coach Gary Schmidt said. "But these kids are known to be gamers. We had some fast breaks and hit some key shots. We tried to put the pressure on them so they had to come back rather than us."
A disappointed West coach Cory Scheel talked about that fast start and how his team struggled all night.
"They were more physical, they were more tough and after that first quarter we were shellshocked," he said. "We weren't in sync offensively tonight and that hurt us a lot. We didn't follow our game plan on either end of the floor.
"I don't care how many times we play Eisenhower, we don't get into our offense well. They give extreme help defense, which I know they would do and we passed right into them."
With 3 minutes, 10 seconds left in the third quarter, West's Claire Radtke hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 14 at 34-20 giving West a chance at a final run. But then Ike rolled off eight points in a row to put the game away.
First Jessa Hahn scored a layup, then Erin Ganzke hit two free throws and Weiland appropriately closed it out with a basket and two free throws for a 42-20 lead going into the fourth quarter.
"We got a lot of transition baskets tonight," Schmidt said. "But kudos to West they took a lot of stuff away from us. We had a lot of turnovers tonight, so credit them. They make us do things we don't want to do."
After that terrible first quarter, the Vikings were only outscored 33-32 as both teams exchanged baskets.
Beth Ver Haagh, Lizzie Kuhl, who played with passion all night, and Nicole Holstein lead the West offense, each with six points. Ganske was actually the game's second-highest scorer with eight points for the Lions while Sammy Kozlowski and Katie Lang managed six each.
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