Through five games, Arrowhead's boys basketball team has established itself as the team to beat this winter in the Classic 8 Conference. That was never more evident than in a pair of victories over visiting Mukwonago and Kettle Moraine last week.
On Dec. 4, the Warhawks turned in a big second half performance and scored a come from behind win over Mukwonago, 72-54. Two nights later, Arrowhead came up a winner again, this time downing Lake Country rival Kettle Moraine, 61-45. The two wins snapped a two-game losing streak for Arrowhead. AHS is now 7-3 overall.
The pair of league wins vaulted AHS to 5-0 in conference play. Teams trailing the Warhawks are Muskego at 4-1, Catholic Memorial 3-2, Mukwonago 3-2, Waukesha North 1-3, Waukesha South 1-3, Waukesha West 1-3 and Kettle Moraine 0-4.
Arrowhead will return to action with a pair of games this week. The Warhawks will play at Waukesha South on Jan. 13 and then host Homestead at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 14.
"We played two pretty good conference games last week," Arrowhead coach Craig Haase said. "We had a big second half in the win over Mukwonago. The guys gave us a lot of intensity on defense late in the first half, and that carried over into the second half. The second half was one of our best halves of the season. We didn't come out with a lot of energy offensively against Kettle Moraine, but we got better in the second half, and that was enough. When we share the ball and make that extra pass, we can do some good things."
Against Mukwonago, the Indians led at halftime, 36-32, and then built that advantage to 44-33 lead early in the second half. At that point, the Arrowhead 1-3-1 zone started giving the Indians trouble. The Warhawks closed out the game by outscoring Mukwonago by a 39-10 margin. The AHS defense held the Indians to just 3 of 21 shooting in the final 15 minutes and forced 11 turnovers.
"When we switched to the 1-3-1, we picked up a lot of intensity on defense," Haase added. "The guys did a great job. We got some turnovers and that led to some easy baskets. We can be really good when we get out in transition."
Senior Trevell Cunningham, the leading scorer in Waukesha County, led the second-half surge with 11 of his 18 points. He filled up the stat sheet as he played his best overall game of the season. He added seven steals, seven assists and three rebounds for the winners.
Senior forward Ben Seefeld led the Warhawks in scoring with 21 points. Senior guard Marko Matejic chipped in with 14 tallies, and senior forward Alec Hamilton had 7 points and seven rebounds. Senior Sam Given came off the bench and grabbed six boards.
In the win over Kettle Moraine, the Warhawks led from start to finish. The Lasers led, 27-20, at halftime and then slowly pulled away to the eventual 16-point victory.
Matejic turned in his best game of the season. He finished with a season-high 21 points, making 7 of 10 shots from the field, including 4 of 6 from the 3-point arc.
Senior Tommy Durand also had his best outing for the Warhawks. Durand had just 4 points but added six assists, including four that led directly to baskets by Matejic.
"It was nice to see Marko and Tommy step up and play big games for us," Haase said. "Marko shot the ball exceptionally well, and Tommy did a lot of good things for us. Alec Hamilton also had a good game."
After Matejic for the Warhawks came Cunningham and Seefeld with 10 points apiece, and Hamilton chipped in with 9. Hamilton also yanked down six boards.
Kettle Moraine was led by senior Nick Dahmen and junior Michael Payant. Dahmen finished with 17 points, and Payant added 12. Kyle Abatto was next with 5 points. Dahmen added eight rebounds for the Lasers and senior Ben Psicihulis grabbed seven boards. Dahmen made 7 of 13 shots for the night.
Arrowhead made 11 of 15 free throws for the night, getting 10 of 11 shooting from Cunningham, Hamilton and Matejic. At the same time, KM converted just 7 of 16 foul shots.