A couple of possible season scenarios played themselves out for the Whitnall boys basketball team last week, and one was clearly more effective for the Falcons.
In the season opener on Nov. 22, Tyler Herro poured in 45 points to tie his career high, but no one else had more than nine points, and Whitnall wound up dropping an 83-76 decision to Destiny.
In the second game on Nov. 26, Herro tallied a team-high 22 points, but Kevion Taylor added 20 points, Jonah Bzdawka 16 points and Joseph Tilley 10 points, and the Falcons routed Wauwatosa East, 83-52.
Guess which method coach Steve Kujawa preferred?
Work ball around
"Against Destiny (particularly in the final minutes), we didn't work the ball around, and we did not run a half-court offense," Kujawa said. "Everyone was standing around watching Tyler, and we can't do that. Tyler would be the first one to tell you that we need more balance. He can score if we need him to, but we can't have him carrying us on his back all the time.
"Against Tosa East, we moved the ball around and ran a better half-court offense, and we had four players in double figures."
Kujawa was especially impressed his team collected 25 assists against Tosa East, with Herro leading the way with 11 and Taylor adding four.
"That means that 50 of our 83 points came because someone passed up a shot for a better shot," Kujawa said.
Whitnall held a 38-28 halftime advantage over Tosa East and then opened the second half with a 22-10 run to go up 60-38 and coasted from that point.
"We were able to get some stops, and then we got out in the open and finished some breaks," the coach said.
The Falcons did most of their damage from the floor, taking only nine free throws and making seven, and they did not rely much on the 3-point field goal either.
Against Destiny in the earlier matchup, they were up 36-26 at the half but allowed 57 points in the second half.
"We were able to make some stops in the first half," Kujawa said, "but not in the second half. Destiny has a front line standing 6-5, 6-6, 6-8, so we needed to rebound well, and we didn't."
The Falcons were still in the game, trailing by only two points with 4½ minutes left, but Destiny made all the big plays down the stretch.
Hit from line
Bzdawka added nine points, Taylor seven points and Tilley six points for Whitnall, which hit 23-of-30 from the line, led by Herro's 13-of-15.
Destiny is rated first in Division 4 by the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook and provided the kind of stern opening test Kujawa wanted for his talented but still somewhat young squad.
The Falcons met Westosha Central on Nov. 29 and will begin Woodland Conference play at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at home against Greendale, which started its season with a 64-48 victory over Milwaukee Morse-Marshall.