New Berlin Eisenhower girls basketball goes 3-0 for the week
Lions have won 13 of 14 games since 0-3 start
The New Berlin Eisenhower girls are going down the stretch heading for the finish line but there are still some obstacles left.
The young Lions improved to 13-4 overall and 10-2 in the Woodland Conference West as they have won seven in a row and 13 of 14 games since starting the year 0-3.
This week they faced Pius XI (14-2, 11-0) on Feb. 11 to open the week, travel to Wauwatosa West (5-7, 7-9) on Feb. 14 and then host Pewaukee (16-1, 11-1) on Feb. 18.
"The girls have started believing in themselves," coach Gary Schmidt said of their winning streak. "They had some big non-conference wins and now they are taking care of things in our own conference so the games in the middle of February have meaning. Ideally, you want to be playing your best basketball at end of the season.
"We have a tough schedule, but we are anxious to play them (Pius, Pewaukee). We are vastly improved from the beginning of the season."
Eisenhower opened the week with two wins, beating Cudahy, 62-32, on the road Feb. 3 and Franklin, 55-51, in a big non-conference game on Feb. 4.
The Lions started fast against the Packers, leading 35-11 at halftime before having a 27-21 second-half advantage.
Junior Sammy Kozlowski had 14 points while sophomore Chelsea Brackman and junior Taylor Crubaugh scored 11 points each to lead Ike as nine players got on the board.
Against Franklin, the Lions took a 10-point lead into the fourth period (43-33) and hung on to defeat a good Sabers team the next night.
Ike built a 33-20 lead at intermission but the Sabers came back with a 31-22 advantage in the second half in a tale of two games.
Brackmann scored 19 points and Kozlowski added 16, as both were 5-for-6 from the free throw line. The Lions were 14-for-18 (.778) from the line, while the Sabers finished only 5-for-6.
Franklin (11-5) had won five of six games going into this non-conference tilt.
"They are a very good team, a very explosive team," Schmidt said. "But we played with passion. One of our goals was to have a winning record in our five tough non-conference games and we were 3-2.
"It was uplifting. We have momentum and I believe we have turned a corner. They believe in themselves and we have had great ramifications in a positive way."
Eisenhower actually trailed Greendale, 31-29, before using a big third quarter to race to a 62-51 victory on Friday to end a 3-0 week.
The Lions had a 33-20 advantage in the second half, based on a big 19-8 third-quarter run.
"It was a combination of we stepped up our defense and we went inside," Schmidt said. "They hit some 3s early because we weren't in their face. Then we started pounding it inside to the bigs."
Kozlowski led the way with 14 points, topping all scorers, but Brackmann and Sydney Cheung added 12 points apiece.
"Sydney (Cheung) hit four 3s that kept us in the game early," Schmidt pointed out.
The Lions were almost perfect from the free throw line (8-for-9), while the Panthers struggled (4-for-13).
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