Wilmot’s Zack Watson (20) chases Falcon guard Jaeden Zackery during the team’s Southern Lakes Conference contest Thursday at Wilmot (Jason Arndt/The Report).

By Jason Arndt

At times on Thursday, Wilmot tried to double team Jaeden Zackery, but the Westosha Central guard just dished the basketball to senior teammate Dylan Anderson, and vice versa.

The Falcons duo, which scored a combined 45 points, helped the flourishing Falcons to an 80-52 defeat of the host Panthers before a raucous crowd of opposing student sections.

Anderson finished with a game-high 23 points, including 15 from the perimeter.

Zackery, meanwhile, contributed 22 points, collected eight rebounds and had six assists.

“Every time they were doubling him, he’d kick it out to me, and every time they doubled me, I’d kick it out to him,” Anderson said. “It was really getting into the fast break and pushing it.”

Westosha Central, ranked seventh in the WisSports.net Coaches Poll, starts its season 6-0 and 3-0 in Southern Lakes Conference play with the win against the Panthers.

For the Panthers, who opened with a 6-2 lead, coach Jake Erbentraut acknowledged his team had little room for error against last season’s WIAA Division 2 state semifinalist.

“Our goal was to try to keep the pace of the game up,” he said. “I thought we did some good things to start, but you got to make baskets, you can’t turn the ball over and give up rebounds because they are a very good team.”

Wilmot, which dropped to 5-2 and 2-1 in the SLC, did what it could at the start of the contest by building a 6-2 edge before the Falcons responded with their fast-paced offense.

Short battle
After Zackery opened with a bucket, the Panthers produced a 6-0 run, courtesy of baskets from juniors Zack Watson along with seniors Kevin Brenner and Devin Spath.

Anderson then sparked a 7-0 run with a layup to give the Falcons a 9-6 lead.

Zackery drew a 3-point play and senior Adam Simmons, who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, capped off the Falcons stretch with a basket.

Watson gave the contest its final deadlock at 9-9 on his first of four 3-pointers. The junior finished with a team-leading 14 points and three assists.

Dylan Anderson (left) focuses on finishing in the paint against Wilmot on Thursday.

Falcons take control
Anderson, however, answered Watson’s 3-pointer with one of his own to propel the Falcons to their second 7-0 run of the first half.

Westosha Central, which eventually carried a 38-25 advantage into halftime, broke the contest open to start the second half.

In the first 3 minutes, 15 seconds of the second half, the Falcons scored nine straight points, beginning with senior Jake Mueller followed by buckets from Zackery and Anderson.

Anderson, who converted four of his five 3-pointers in the second half, capped off the scoring stretch with a shot from the arc to force a Panthers’ timeout at 14:45.

According to Zackery, Anderson’s 3-pointers played a pivotal role, considering the Panthers started to double-team him.

“After a little while, they started double-teaming me to get the ball out of my hands,” said Zackery. “(Dylan) is in a really good spot right now, he has been shooting really well at practice and to be able to do that in a game, it really helps a lot.”

Falcons coach James Hyllberg agreed, adding Anderson is showing confidence in his shooting.

“He is capable of shooting from the perimeter, we spread the offense to give Jaeden some room to drive and he was able to kick it to the outside,” he said.

Defensively, the Falcons held Watson to just one second half 3-pointer.

Sophomore London Glass picked up where Watson left off and scored seven of his 13 points in the second half.

The Falcons went 32-for-59 from field goal range, including 7 of 17 from the perimeter, while Wilmot shot 19-for-58. Although the Panthers equaled Westosha Central in 3-pointers, they needed 26 attempts.

Freshman Jack Rose finished with 10 points for the Falcons.

Mueller added four assists and six rebounds.

Senior Joey Michelau contributed seven rebounds.


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