Whitefish Bay girls basketball coach Jon Schneider is not going to let one bad half against West Allis Hale ruin his team's otherwise solid holiday tournament effort last week.
The Blue Dukes were ahead of the host Huskies, 30-23, at the half of the final of Hale's Holiday Tournament final on Dec. 29, but then the Huskies switched tactics, and that resulted in Bay getting outscored, 32-15, en route to a 55-45 defeat.
"They switched to a 1-3-1 zone, and that gave us a lot of trouble," Schneider said. "Overall, Hale's defensive intensity was a lot better than in the first half, and that changed the tempo of the game. It changed the course of the game. We couldn't score, and they'd come down and score. We wouldn't score again, and they'd score again."
The Blue Dukes, who routed Westosha Central, 60-22, in the semifinals of the tournament on Dec. 28, came out of the holidays at 7-3 overall.
They have a hectic week coming up. They took on state-ranked North Shore Conference leader Germantown (9-1) on Wednesday, Jan. 4, and then will host Milwaukee Lutheran in a regularly scheduled league game Friday, Jan. 6.
Then they will have to turn around for a 9 a.m. game Saturday, Jan. 7, against Milwaukee Washington in the Al McGuire Classic co-hosted by Germantown and Arrowhead at the McGuire Center on the Marquette University campus in Milwaukee.
"This will be a good week to see if we can maintain composure," Schneider said. "See if we can handle a little bit of pressure."
Post Dora Stasiak has an arm injury and will be out a few more weeks, he added.
The pressure got to the Blue Dukes a bit in the final against Hale in the second half, as the Huskies aggressively employed the 1-3-1 trap and forced 16 second-half turnovers out of Bay. The game was tied at 36-36 with 8:27 left, and then the Huskies surged ahead, 52-38, with just 4:22 left.
The Hale rally spoiled a fast 11-1 start to the game by the Blue Dukes.
Ellie Clements led the way for Bay with 11 points, while Bailey Faulkner had 9.
The Blue Dukes had coasted into the final against Westosha in what Schneider felt was a bit of a sloppy game. Bay went up 39-15 at the break as a total of 11 players scored, led by Elise Whitmoyer, Mia Brower and Clements, all who had 11 points each, while Faulkner contributed 6.
"In a situation like that, you want to dominate the game from beginning to end and not fall into any bad habits, keep playing at a level we know we're capable of," Schneider said. "We didn't quite get there, and that wound up hurting us on the second day (against Hale). We couldn't get away with the stuff we did against Westosha.
"Still, it was a good learning experience. We followed it up with a good two-hour film session on Friday (Dec. 30), where we were able to break down things that went wrong.
"The girls took the attitude of ' Hey, we're having a good season. We have to use this as an opportunity to get better.'"