BOYS BASKETBALL: Falcons secure share of SLC title
VIDEO: Williams has grand performance
By Jason Arndt
Westosha Central High School won at least a share of the Southern Lakes Conference title and 5-foot-11 senior Tre Williams surpassed 1,000 career points in a trouncing of host Waterford Friday.
Courtesy of both a 13-2 and 9-2 run in the first half, the Falcons carried a 30-12 edge entering the second half, where they coasted to a 59-35 victory.
Falcons coach James Hyllberg, who guided the Falcons to an SLC title last year, said the team entered the contest with a mission.
“It was a big win, all of our guys came in prepared and we weren’t going to take it lightly,” said Hyllberg.
Falcons fluster Wolverines
Westosha Central opened with a 13-2 lead, sparked by sophomore Jaeden Zackery, who pitched in seven points.
A chain of successive 3-pointers, a Waterford 6-0 senior Matt Korman bucket left the Falcons with a 19-7 lead before the Falcons bolstered its lead with a 9-2 run.
Following a 6-0 sophomore Adam Simmons 3-pointer, baskets by Williams and 6-5 senior Lucas Graveley, the Falcons widened its edge to 26-7.
Two Korman free throws, followed by a Falcons senior Bailey Menarik bucket gave the Falcons a 28-9 lead.
Then, Korman buried another 3-pointer for Waterford.
Williams, who needed 10 points to reach 1,000 career, capped off the Falcons’ 30-12 first half with bucket to give him eight points.
Williams wastes no time
Then, to open the second half, 6-3 sophomore Dylan Anderson made shot from the arc, before Williams drained a 3-pointer of his own to put him at 1,001.
Williams’ shot, which drew a loud applause from the Falcons’ traveling student section, led to a stoppage of play to commemorate his career milestone.
According to Williams, the moment brought a sense of relief.
“It feels really good,” said Williams. “It was something that I was looking to get accomplished at the beginning of the season – added up all of my points throughout the years.”
However, to accomplish the milestone on the road brought a different perspective, he said.
“It was a different atmosphere, I would have most definitely liked to get it at home,” said Williams.
The milestone, according to Hyllberg, happened to a well-deserved athlete.
“It couldn’t have happened to a better kid, a better family,” Hyllberg said. “He works hard, has a great attitude, I am very happy for him.”
Following Williams’ career mark, which gave him a team-leading 14 points, the Falcons coasted the rest of the contest with 10 of 11 players pitching in at least a point.
Second to Williams was Graveley, who contributed seven of his nine points in the second half.
Anderson added eight and Zackery finished with seven.
Rounding out the Falcon contributors were Simmons (six points), Nic Frederick and Jack Schroeder (five each), Joey Gilliland and Menarik (two each) and 6-4 junior Cooper Brinkman (one).
The collective contribution, Hyllberg said, is indicative of the Falcons’ passing scheme.
“We just take what the other teams gives us,” he said. “We spread the ball, the guys were open, and they hit them.”
Westosha Central’s win comes in spite of allowing a game-high 24 points from Korman, who scored 12 in the second half.
“He can score, he is a good shooter, we had a hard time stopping him,” said Hyllberg. “I am glad we don’t have to face him again.”
Not done – yet
With the victory, Westosha Central clinched at least a share of the SLC title at 11-2, one game ahead of Burlington with one conference game left for both teams.
Williams, however, said the team has a mission to take the title outright, when they host Delavan-Darien Thursday.
The Comets boast a 12-9 record and 6-7 in the SLC.
“We need that win so we can get it outright by ourselves,” said Williams. “It feels good to (clinch a share of the title), but we got to get it outright.”
The title marks the first time the school won back-to-back conference championships since the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
While the Falcons await the contest against the Comets, Williams can savor the moment his goal was achieved.
“It was a kind of goal that I was chasing, along with my other goals throughout the years,” he said. “It feels good to have, because that will go down in school history.”