Zackery knocks in game-high 25 points for Westosha Central

By Jason Arndt

A barrage of 3-pointers by visiting Wilmot Union High School was enough to force Jaeden Zackery and the Westosha Central boys basketball to change defensive strategies in a Dec. 22 Southern Lakes Conference clash.

Westosha’s Jaeden Zackery, who scored 15 second half points, makes a leap for the hoop against Wilmot on Dec. 22 (Earlene Frederick/The Report).

The Panthers, who opened with a 6-0 lead after perimeter shots by seniors Kyle Gendron and Jeremy Bruton, collectively made five first half 3-pointers to keep the contest within reach.

“They don’t miss from the outside,” said Falcons coach James Hyllberg.

Hyllberg’s squad, however, was able to reclaim the lead at 11-10 on a senior Cooper Brinkman free throw with less than 10 minutes left in the first half.

From there, the Falcons took a 48-33 edge entering halftime, and eventually came away with a 78-57 victory after they outscored the Panthers 40-24 in the second half.

According to Panthers’ coach Jake Erbentraut, Westosha Central’s switch to man to man defense from zone to open the second half pushed his squad out of rhythm.

“At the beginning of their second half, I thought they went from their zone to man, and it just kind of got us a little bit frazzled and we started turning the ball over,” Erbentraut said.

Zackery explodes in second half
With a five point lead, Zackery knew what his team needed to do in the second half, revert to its fast-paced style of basketball.

“They were breaking us down in the second half, so in the second half, we had to pick it up and stop them,” said Zackery. “We just had to take it to the hole, we are fast paced transition team.”

Zackery, who had 10 first half points, added another 15 to come away with a game-high 25 points.

Hyllberg said his 6-1 junior guard stepped up when it mattered the most.

“This is his best game of the season, we needed him to step up and he did,” said Hyllberg, who credited Zackery’s resilience against Panthers senior Latrell Glass.

“He was guarding Latrell and Latrell is a good player.”

For Glass, who went 7 for 8 from the free throw line, he knocked in a team-leading 22 points.

Entering the Dec. 22 contest, Zackery acknowledged Glass would be difficult to defend.

Adding to Zackery’s challenge was Bruton, who scored 15 points from 3-point range.

“We knew we had to focus on Latrell and Jeremy because they are really good shooters,” said Zackery.

The Falcons, who suffered a season-opening loss at Kettle Moraine, has won five consecutive games to improve to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the SLC.

Westosha Central junior guard Adam Simmons, who went 7 for 8 from the free throw line, finished with 15 points.

Brinkman, a forward, chipped in another 11 points while seniors Joey Gilliland and Nic Frederick had seven points apiece.

Noted progress
While Erbentraut said the Falcons present a potent offense, he saw the Dec. 22 game as an improvement compared to the 81-56 loss against Union Grove on Dec. 19.

“We looked so much better than we did on Tuesday night,” said Erbentraut, whose team stands at 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the SLC.

He attributes the improvement to Glass, Bruton and Gendron.


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