It's still a work in progress, but let it be said that 6-7 junior post Johnny Saengphonphakdy is making great strides for the Brown Deer boys basketball team.
Fresh off a 21-point effort in a harrowing win over New Berlin West on Dec. 9, Saengphonphakdy came back with 15 points as one of five Falcons in doubles figures in a 96-46 rout of short-handed area rival Shorewood on Dec. 13.
"We've been working hard, trying to get him going," said coach Kelly Appleby. "When we lost to (New Berlin) Eisenhower, he played well there, too. His development has been steady. He gets the ball on the block and gets off a good shot, or when the double-team comes, he's able to kick the ball out.
"We just need him to play within the rules (as far as his physical strength is concerned) and understand what he can and cannot do because he has moves (on the block). We're teaching him how to use his hips more, not his shoulders, and his overall development has been a huge positive for us. As soon as we can put some regular pressure on the post, we can become more of a threat both inside and out."
The Falcons (2-1 in Woodland play and 3-2 overall) took on state-ranked Whitnall in a huge Woodland Conference East game on Dec. 20. Brown Deer has won the last four Woodland East titles, but Whitnall went to the D2 state tournament last season and is riding high again this winter.
"We've had our way with them the last few years," Appleby said, "but they're seeing this as a major opportunity to get us. It should be a good one."
Meanwhile, Shorewood, which has been playing without 20-points-a-game guard Mikael Green due to illness, looked to regroup against Greenfield on Dec. 20.
In the game on Dec. 13, the Falcons broke out to a 48-28 halftime lead and cruised from there. Jay Gentry led the way against Shorewood with 20 points, while Damon Jackson had 16, Saengphonphakdy 15, Jalen Greenlee 14, Jaylon Gentry 10 and Shermone Henderson 8.
DeAndre Anderson and James Ewing had 10 points each for Shorewood.
Appleby was pleased with the Falcons' improved outside shooting in this game.
"We didn't shoot well against Eisenhower or West," he said, "but here we made 11 3s (Jay Gentry and Greenlee had four apiece). Our shot selection was a little better, too.
"I few of them finally went through. That's what we're really encouraged about."
Both Brown Deer (Greenfield) and Shorewood (Cudahy) had games on Dec. 16 postponed by snowy weather. Make-up dates are still being determined.