Yes, the Brown Deer boys basketball team has finally seen enough of Milwaukee Riverside's uber-talented 6-6 senior forward and Iowa State recruit Terrence Lewis.
The Falcons have lost three straight seasons in a nonconference game to the Tigers, including a season-opening 83-75 decision on Nov. 25 at the Fresh Coast Classic. Lewis has combined for 103 points in the three games, including a preposterous 44 points on 16-of-22 shooting in the Nov. 25 decision that was the season opener for Brown Deer.
Falcon coach Kelly Appleby is an admirer of Lewis but is happy to see him head off to college.
"He really didn't miss much," Appleby said. "Just very impressive."
And Appleby saw the game as a good eye-opener for the four-time Woodland Conference Eastern Division champions, who are coming off a 19-5 season that ended a little abruptly with a stunning WIAA D3 regional loss to Milwaukee Lutheran.
"I think that may have helped us a little," said Appleby. "We got off on the wrong foot that game, and it showed us that we have to be ready every time we suit up, know that we can lose any night. Along those lines, this team is practicing as hard as any as we've had."
The Falcons will have to do without graduated two-time All-Suburban and all-state forward Taurus Adams II but still have a fair number of tools left in the shed to make a run at a fifth straight Woodland East title. In an interesting development, the Falcons, with a declining of enrollment of just 607, have moved in the WIAA D2 bracket after winning state titles in the D3 bracket in 2014 and 2015.
"The guys are excited about the challenge," Appleby said. "They want to see what we can do."
Brown Deer will return four of its six leading scorers: 6-0 junior forward Jay Gentry (13.4 ppg.), 5-10 senior guard Damon Jackson (12.4 ppg.), 5-11 senior guard Jalen Greenlee (7.2) and 5-8 sophomore guard Jaylon Gentry (6.8).
Jackson started all games last season at the point, while Greenlee had a strong season as the team's sixth man. Jay Gentry, meanwhile, is entering his third season on the varsity.
Expected to fill the four and five spots are 6-5 junior forwards Liam McGuire and Terry Ealy. Wildcards for the Falcons include 6-7 season Bryce Graf and 6-7 junior wide-body Johnny Saengphonphakdy.
"We're getting these guys to adapt to our style," Appleby said. "We're hoping by midseason that we will have some legitimate interior play because our guards are very good, and I think if we can get some interior play to balance that off, we will be very tough to beat."
Other seniors include 5-10 guard Reese Drake and 6-0 forward Cordell Hadley,
Appleby is really pleased with the attitude so far.
"Everything is going good," he said. "The guys are ready to go. The guys know that we've established a culture around here, and they want to keep it going. We lose people like Taurus and Craig (Schimenz), but we have a bunch of guys with experience, and we're further along in week two than we were last year."
Against Riverside, the Falcons fell behind 40-29 at the break and were down 14 early in the second half, but Appleby liked the hustle and noted the Falcons trimmed the margin to 63-61 with six minutes to go.
"We were dead in the water, but we continued to battle and showed a lot of grit and determination," said Appleby.
Jay Gentry led Brown Deer with 23, while Jackson had 21 and Greenlee 14. The Falcons hit 10 3-pointers in the contest. Among his many talents, Lewis hit 7-of-9 free throws and was an impressive 5-of-6 from 3-point range.
The Falcons will visit Hartford on Thursday, Dec. 1, in another nonconference game and then will open Woodland play by hosting always dangerous New Berlin Eisenhower on Tuesday, Dec. 6.