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Defense starts fast, overwhelms Waterford

Dec. 4, 2012

The turnover margin ultimately didn't favor the Mukwonago girls basketball team against Waterford on Nov. 27, but that's not how it felt to those in attendance. The explanation for that may have been the first quarter, when a defensive blitz gave the Indians a lead they would never relinquish and left the Wolverines taking off-balance shots the rest of the night.

Mukwonago defeated Waterford, 60-46, with a tone-setting first quarter spotting the home team a 20-11 lead. Mukwonago at one point forced turnovers on four straight possessions and cashed in for baskets on each, with 12 total points recorded on seven first-quarter turnovers.

"We're really teaching the girls it's not about how many steals they get, it's about taking them out of their offensive plan and making them shoot in transition," MHS coach Todd Frohwirth said. "Even though the second half didn't look that pretty, they still didn't run a set the whole time. All they did was shoot in transition. That's what we're looking for them to do, and we did it the whole game."

Mukwonago committed nine turnovers in the second quarter and shot just 3 of 9 but managed to expand its lead to 31-15. The lead swelled to as large as 45-19 before Waterford started stringing shots together, though by then it was far too late.

Freshman Bre Cera scored eight of her 15 points in the first quarter. Senior Jenny Tuttle, herself a freshman on varsity three years ago, finished with 10 points.

"She's exactly how I was when I was a freshman; I see myself in her, and it's awesome to see her be successful," Tuttle said of Cera. "I feel like we came out really intense and forced a lot of turnovers. They didn't see it coming."

Waterford shot 17 for 60 (28 percent), and the Wolverines shot 8 of 18 in the fourth quarter after the game was out of reach.

"We were lucky enough to have a height advantage at just about every position," said post player Amber Gray, who finished with 13 points. "I think that definitely helped, and our press did rattle them a little bit.

"We play them just about every year, so we knew we had to work on our press today and fix the holes in that."

The Indians moved to 3-0 with a huge battle in the league opener against Waukesha West up next Dec. 4.

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