By Dan Truttschel

Sports Correspondent

Through two weeks of practice, Wilmot boys basketball coach Terry Bruton had a feeling his team was on the right track.

It’s just one game, but after Friday night, the Panthers haven’t done anything to change their coach’s mind.

Wilmot put together a solid four-quarter effort in a 77-64 victory at Elkhorn in a Southern Lakes Conference opener for both teams. The Panthers now are 1-0 overall, while Elkhorn fell to 2-1.

“At some points it looked like our first game, but at other points, on the offensive end, it was pretty impressive,” Bruton said. “We were very good in transition. We shot extremely well. I was very pleased with everything I saw on the offensive end.

“Certainly on the defensive end, we probably turned them over quite a bit because of the press. We need to shore up our half-court defense and improve our rebounding.”

Bruton said his team’s offensive improvement is a product of a higher skill level by every player on the roster.

The Panthers are installing a new offense, which is going to be a work in progress, but so far, so good, he said.

“More than anything, it’s improved skill that we have on the team,” Bruton said. “I like what we’re doing as a concept, but just the skill the players have brought as a result of hard work in the offseason (has improved).

“They’re able to execute plays in transition. They’re able to certainly make shots in the half-court. They’re good passers. They have a good basketball IQ. All those make us a pretty tough team to stop.”

Wilmot jumped out to an 18-11 first-quarter lead and held a 38-35 advantage at halftime. The Panthers extended that lead to six points heading into the final eight minutes and never looked back.

Matt Betz led a balanced scoring attack with 17 points, followed by Andrew Lartey with 13, Cal Rohrman and Mike Stevenson with 11, Nate Hensel with nine and Brandon Schattner with eight.

“It was a team offensive effort,” Bruton said. “I was very pleased with that. It makes us extremely difficult to (defend us). A lot of our points came in transition. We had very good spacing all night and a lot of different opportunities.

“We have a lot of depth as far as offensive skill and a lot of people who could lead the team on any given night.”

Wilmot returned to action Tuesday night with a non-conference contest at Watertown. The Panthers opened their home schedule Thursday night against Badger, followed by a trip to Waterford next Tuesday night to face the Wolverines.

The goal this week is to build on the momentum from the opener, Bruton said.

“When we get back to conference play, we want to concentrate on winning every one of those games,” he said. “Badger is going to be very good defensively. We’re going to have to play well against them.

“Waterford is one of the top dogs in the conference. We’re going to have to bring our best there. It doesn’t get any easier. We just have to take them one game at a time and get better every night out.”



No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment



Local weather