As usual, the game was far from easy, but the Whitnall boys basketball team prevailed at Cudahy, 71-61, on Dec. 13 to stay unbeaten in the Woodland Conference.
"In my tenure at Whitnall, playing at Cudahy has always been challenging," coach Steve Kujawa said. "They (the Packers) usually shoot lights out, and they did again here, with seven 3-point field goals and some reverse layups."
The Packers were able to stay in the game most of the way, but the Falcons found a way to win to move to 3-0 in the Woodland Conference East Division, one game ahead of Greenfield and Brown Deer (2-1).
"Cudahy was up 1 point late in the first half; then we went on a 9-2 run to close the half and go ahead, 35-29," Kujawa said. "In the second half, I think our talent just made the difference."
Tyler Herro led the way with 30 points, including 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, and five assists. Kevion Taylor collected 12 points, three rebounds and two steals; Jonah Bzdawka 10 points and four rebounds; and Joey Tilley 7 points. Will Kegel chipped in with six assists.
"We hit 19-of-23 at the line," Kujawa said, "including 12-of-15 in the last six minutes. Our guys kept calmly sinking two free throws at a crack."
Kujawa said Cudahy played man-to-man defense the entire game, not attempting any junk defenses against Herro and Taylor.
Whitnall was set to play South Milwaukee on Dec. 16, but the game was postponed by the snowstorm. The Falcons were also going to take on La Crosse Logan as part of the Kaukauna Tournament on Dec. 17, but that event was most likely canceled.
They met Brown Deer in a contest for first place in the East on Dec. 20 and will then be off until 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, when they meet Kaukauna, the defending WIAA Division 2 state champion and the second-rated team this season, as part of the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Tournament at Concordia University in Mequon.
That will be a battle between not only two of the top Division 2 teams in the state ratings but two of the top players in Herro and Kaukauna's Jordan McCabe, who averaged 25 points last season.