Length will not be a problem for the Whitefish Bay girls basketball team, and the Blue Dukes will be put to the test early with a meat grinder of a schedule. The early returns were favorable with a 63-37 win over South Milwaukee, a breakout opportunity for sophomore Ellie Clements (21 points).

“She played varsity last year as a freshman, but with the way our offense worked and the way our team was last year, she averaged 7 or 8 points a game,” Bay coach Jon Schneider said. “Last year, being on varsity was a really good experience. She loves to attack the basket.”

Clements shot 9-of-11 from the field, missing one jump shot and one layup.

“She’s able to get to the rim pretty easily because she’s a 5-11 guard that’s pretty athletic,” Schneider said. “We’ve been working a lot recently on her not being one dimensional and being able to take people off the drive when she’s open, too. She’s added that piece to her game, which has really helped. She’s by far our most talented player.”

But there is plenty of talent around her, too, and Schneider believes his team can go 10 deep. His team struggled shooting from outside (3-of-20) but made two-thirds of its shot inside the arc. Bailey Faulkner came off the bench finished with 11 points and eight steals, cashing in on the way. Bay used its length in trapping defense. The roster includes three girls at 6-0 or taller and two at 5-11.

“(Faulkner) would start any day for us, and she’ll probably work her way into the starting lineup at some point,” Schneider said. “It’s all about creating pressure, getting deflections, using our length. With a 6-1 and 5-11 girl that are super athletic on the top, that creates opportunities for everybody else.”

Freshman Elise Whitmoyer added 10 points and led the Dukes with six rebounds.

“It was definitely a team win that was kind of sparked early by Ellie and our defensive pressure,” Schneider said.

Next up, a battle with talented Brookfield Central at the school’s annual Thanksgiving Invite. Thereafter, two tough North Shore challenges await in Grafton and Cedarburg.