Muskego - The message from head coach Brian Hirtz clearly got through to the members of the Muskego girls basketball team.
The Warriors had played poorly on defense while losing to Milton, 72-64, in the first round of the Milton Tournament on Dec. 27, and Hirtz let them know he wanted more on the defensive end.
Muskego responded with a sterling defensive effort in routing Watertown, 51-20, in the consolation contest on Dec. 28.
"I challenged the kids to get going on the defensive end," Hirtz said. "(Against Watertown), we played well defensively, which created offensive opportunities for us off turnovers and steals. We played good halfcourt man-to-man defense."
The Warriors jumped on top 23-7 after one quarter and were ahead 37-12 at halftime. The relentless defensive pressure continued throughout the second half, as they held the Goslings to eight points the rest of the way.
Jessica Cattani continued her string of double-digit scoring games with 17 points, while Julia Keegan tallied nine points and Renee Bennett eight points.
One night earlier, the Warriors had no trouble scoring against Milton, as Keegan put in a team-high 19 points, Cattani 14 and Ashley Colla 11 points.
They connected on 10 3-point field goals as well.
"We shot well, but so did they," Hirtz said. "They made seven threes, so there were 17 threes in the game. I don't think I've seen that before."
Muskego was never able to slow down Milton's offense.
"It was close, but it came down to who would get some stops in the fourth quarter," he said. "Our defensive effort was not good enough."
The Warriors went to 4-5 on the season and return to Classic 8 Conference action at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home against Kettle Moraine.
They then welcome Brookfield East at 7:30 Jan. 8, for a nonconference contest.
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