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Warhawks find next gear against KM boys

Dec. 18, 2012

The Arrowhead boys basketball team has shown it needed very little time to implement a championship-caliber defense, even if the offense hadn’t yet fully found a groove.

Still undefeated after a 75-52 win over resurgent Kettle Moraine on Friday, it appears the offense has clicked into place. That’s potentially bad news for everyone else.

The Warhawks shot a blistering 60 percent in the first half and 57 percent for the game, and Arrowhead improved to 8-0 while dropping the Lasers to 6-2.

“We have a lot of kids that can score the basketball, it’s just a matter of getting them in the right spots as coaches and giving them an opportunity to do that,” Arrowhead coach Craig Haase said. “Sometimes, it takes a while to figure it out offensively when you don’t have a lot of practices, but I think our guys are coming around. It’s as deep a team as we’ve had, and the hardest thing for me is trying to play them all.”

Haase has said the team needed an adjustment period, with the vast majority of players part of the state championship football team that played into the first week of the season. But they’re 4-0 in conference and appear completely in sync.

Junior post Billy Hirschfeld, an All State defensive lineman who possesses superior inside strength, finished with 18 points.

“With my size down low compared to their big men’s size, I knew I would get the ball a lot,” Hirschfeld said. “Our guards were making plays. … I’ve got that rhythm back now for basketball.”

Kenny Finco scored all 10 of his points in the first quarter, and Jackson Abresch added 13 points from his forward spot.

“Our goal is to get to the rim as much as we possibly can,” Haase said. “When we do that, we can find guys down low, find Billy or Kevin (LeRoy) in the paint. I thought both those kids really finished well around the basket tonight. Kenny gave us a good lift dropping 10 to start. It was one of those nights where everything seemed to be clicking.”

The host Lasers, who had been waiting for a chance to reaffirm their strong early-season record against one of the league’s top teams, didn’t look lost at all despite the lopsided score. To the contrary, the team shot 47 percent, picking up 23 points from Paul Miller and taking a number of aggressive cuts toward the basket.

“The first half, I thought we were on our heels a little bit and then we got aggressive in the second half,” KM coach Brad Bestor said. “Arrowhead has more than one guy that’s aggressive and we really had one guy for a while, and that kept us somewhat close in the first half. In the second half, we had a lot more guys playing aggressively. We had a lot more effort in the second half, but we just dug ourselves a huge hole.”

Arrowhead took a 7-0 lead and built that lead to 17-6 in the first quarter.

“Give them a ton of credit, because they made shots,” Bestor said. “It wasn’t like they were wide open shots.”

The Lasers were held to just four offensive rebounds and were outrebounded for the game, 30-13.

“They have a lot of guys who can create, a lot of guys who can shoot,” Bestor said. “They have guys you need to help off on, but you can’t because the guy you’re guarding can shoot. It creates a tough situation for the defense.”

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