New Berlin Eisenhower's girls basketball team found itself in an unfamiliar position Saturday afternoon in the Brookfield Central Thanksgiving Shootout.
Monona Grove, last year's Badger South Champions (23-3, 11-1), outscored the Lions 20-5 in the third period and walked away with a 52-44 victory.
Eisenhower was leading, 26-18, but then the Silver Eagles' experience took over against a young Lions team.
"We knew they were going to make a run," coach Gary Schmidt said. "I think we got one shot off. These are the times we got a little unfocused, couldn't run our offense. When we did run our offense, we got a layup or a foul. But they got us out of sync and bad things happened to us."
Autumn Ogden, a 5-11 sophomore, scored 10 of her 14 points in the third quarter and while Chelsea Brackman's free throw and tip-in basket and Kasie Ereyni's basket with eight seconds left in the quarter was all the Lions could muster.
"We sort of expected this to be a tough game," Schmidt said. "We wanted that test. I was very happy with the first half, the way we took care of the basketball and made some key shots."
The Lions got to the line and sank 13-of-16 free throws in the second quarter and 15-of-18 in the first half. They came out and went 1-for-7 in the third quarter.
"That is going to happen. Teams lose focus sometimes," Schmidt said. "They got a lot of people back and their experience showed.
"We have to stay focused, stay patient; good things will come to us. But they are a good team and they took us out of our rhythm."
Sammy Kozlowski had 12 points while Brackman and Emalie Hahn had eight each. Ike was 23-of-26 from the free throw line.
Taylor Nelson had 18 points and Alexa Kelsey had 10 to go along with Ogden's 14.
The Lions played at Pius XI on Dec. 3 and at Pewaukee at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7.
"I'm happy with the way we fought tonight and the way we played," Schmidt said. "We just think we have good things on the horizon.
"Our kids are going to get better and better. If we can just get over this hump, at the end of the year we're going to be a tough team."
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