From the opening tip, Brown Deer controlled the momentum, playing up-tempo basketball against Whitnall on the road. Tallying 12 three-pointers in the game, Brown Deer extended its winning streak to four games, cruising to a 94-77 victory over Whitnall in a Woodland East conference matchup.
“I thought we shot the ball really well,” Brown Deer coach Kelly Appleby said. “We got an up and down game, which is what we’re looking for. They ran up and down the floor with us, and that’s our style of play. We went towards our direction, shot it well, got out in front of them and ran the clock out.”
Senior guard Jalen Greenlee led Brown Deer with a game-high 34 points, going 8 of 13 from three-point range.
“He was killing,” said Appleby of Greenlee. “He’s been shooting the ball really well. If he’s shooting it and we’re running up and down the floor, I like our chances.”
With the victory, four-time defending conference champion Brown Deer (14-5, 10-3) moves a half a game behind Whitnall (12-5, 10-2) for the East division lead with three games left.
Out of the three remaining games, Brown Deer’s biggest challenge comes in the last game of the regular season on the road against Pewaukee (17-2, 12-1), who sits in first place in the West division, on Feb. 22.
“Every year, our goal is to win conference,” Appleby said. “For us to do that, we had to win here tonight. It is nice being an underdog once. For the last few years we’ve been on the pedestal and other teams try to knock you off. You kind of run out of motivational material. Having new motivational material is nice to have.”
Disappointed with the result, Whitnall coach Steve Kujawa was pleased with his team’s effort, despite not leading at any point against Brown Deer.
“They just made every single shot,” Kujawa said. “A lot of those were in transition. When we would make a run, there would be an answer. I think that’s what it came down to. We can’t get down in the first half.”
Whitnall junior guard and University of Wisconsin recruit Tyler Herro returned to the court, finishing with a team-high 26 points, after missing five of the Falcons previous seven games due to a knee injury. Although Herro played the majority of the game, Kujawa said he’s still day-to-day.
“I think he was doing everything he can like he normally does,” said Kujawa about Herro. “Coming off of an injury, he’s trying to carry us.”
Brown Deer opened the game on a 12-2 scoring run in the first three minutes of the half. The Falcons stretched their lead to as many as 12 points, finishing the first 18 minutes of play ahead 39-30 over Whitnall.
Greenlee propelled the Falcons in the opening half, tallying 18 points while going 4 of 4 on three-point shots.
The second half was a similar story for Brown Deer. The Falcons came out energized, running up and down the court, taking advantage of mediocre defense to score 55 points in the half.
In the second half, Brown Deer went on a 17-2 scoring run over three-plus minutes, taking a 64-39 lead over Whitnall with 12:25 remaining. Whitnall fought until the final buzzer but had no answer for Brown Deer’s explosive offensive attack.
Brown Deer had four players record double digits in scoring. Greenlee led the way with 34 points and Johnny Saengphonphakdy posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Jaylon Gentry chipped in with 16 points, and Jay Gentry finished with 12.
“If you are going to run with us, we’re going to score some points,” Appleby said. “That’s what we did tonight.”