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East Troy boys dazzle Elkhorn

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Tim Wester/Special to the Gazette
January 4, 2008
— Elkhorn High boys basketball coach John Handel learned one simple lesson here Thursday night—East Troy is even better than last season’s team, which went 12-0 in the Southern Lakes and 18-3 overall.

Handel made that conclusion after watching the state’s fourth-ranked Division 2 team overwhelm Elkhorn, 65-48, and post its 16th straight conference victory.


The Trojans stayed atop the current conference race at 4-0 and improved to 10-1 for the season, while dropping Elkhorn to 7-3 and 2-2.


“They are a lot more patient team this season, and the one thing that I’ll applaud them for is some of the guys that score a lot of their points this year are willing to give the ball up for the betterment of the team,” Handel said of the Trojans.


“They just have good basketball players that take care of the ball, and they have a nice team that’s going to go a long way this season.”


Handel noticed the exemplary Trojans’ unselfishness immediately in the first quarter. Senior guard Jory Tess, who is the team’s fifth-leading scorer, racked up 10 points during that stretch, including two three-point goals to help East Troy grab an 18-12 lead.


“Jory really got us going, and had a couple threes and a couple twos, and made a couple nice passes,” East Troy coach Darin Lottig said.


After that, five different East Troy players scored during an 11-3 run that increased the Trojans’ advantage to 23-12 early in the second quarter.


A pair of Eric Bryson three-pointers helped get the Elks within 25-18 late in the second quarter, but the Trojans quickly responded with a 5-3 spurt to lead 30-21 at halftime.


Elkhorn never got closer than eight the rest of the way.


Alex Bondar, East Troy’s 6-8 senior center, scored 13 of his game-high 19 points in the second half to finish off the Elks.


Kyle Jones added 15 points for East Troy, while Tess finished with 11, and Alan Loth scored 10 as the Trojans notched their ninth straight win since losing a nonconference game to Waukesha Memorial.


“We feel like we’ve got the opportunity to do something special,” Lottig said. “We don’t know how far we can go, but we feel like we are going to work hard to get there.”


Meanwhile, Bryson had a team-high 17 points, while Max Findreng added 12 for the disappointed Elks.


“I would have liked to compete a little better against East Troy tonight,” Handel said. “I’m naïve enough to think we can beat them the next time we face them, but we’ll see.”


After what he saw Thursday, however, Handel certainly doesn’t expect to see East Troy make it any easier the next time around.


EAST TROY 65, ELKHORN 48


Elkhorn (48)—Bryson, 7-0-17; Findreng, 4-2-12; O'Laughlin, 4-1-9; Gahart, 1-0-3; Olson, 1-1-3; Blackbourn, 0-2-2; Schmidt, 1-0-2. Totals: 18-6-48.


East Troy (65)—Tess, 4-1-11; Jones, 2-10-15; Manschot, 3-1-8; Loth, 4-1-10; Bondar, 8-3-19; Douglas, 1-0-2. Totals: 22-16-65.


Elkhorn 12 9 14 13-48


East Troy 18 12 16 19-64


Three point goals--Elkhorn 6 (Bryson 3, Findreng 2, Gahart), East Troy 5 (Tess 2, Jones, Manschot, Loth). Free throws missed- Elkhorn 6, East Troy 6. Total Fouls--Elkhorn 19, East Troy 11.



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