Getting healthier, Brown Deer boys maintain league lead with two wins
Good practice time coming up
Brown Deer - With almost everybody back in the lineup, the boys basketball team has found its footing again, overpowering Greenfield, 62-51, last Friday after routing South Milwaukee, 76-57, Jan. 8.
The Falcons maintained their 2-1/2 game lead in the Woodland East with a 10-1 record (12-3 overall). They will entertain winless St. Francis on Friday.
"We've gotten over the hump of Christmas," said coach Kelly Appleby of the team's unfortunate two-game outing in the Chekouras Classic at Homestead over the holidays. "We've gotten back on track and have been focusing the last couple of weeks on defending better."
A key aid for the Falcons is the return of point guard Jake Schimenz to the line-up, as he has not been able to play due to injuries to knee and shoulder.
"He's really added a leadership and energy burst," Appleby said. "It's great to have him back."
Furthermore, forward and defensive stopper Donte Harmon is also close to returning after recovering from an ankle injury.
"He's not 100 percent yet, but he is getting closer," Appleby said.
And he would be welcome, as the injury bug still hasn't totally left the team: Guard Marcus Bond rolled his ankle in a recent effort and his return is uncertain.
Still, Brown Deer has been able to move on.
The Falcons struggled against Greenfield in the first half, trailing 13-11 at the quarter before taking a 29-28 lead at the half. Things got better in the third period, when the Falcons put the defensive clamps on the Hustlin' Hawks, outscoring them 12-6 and taking a 41-34 advantage at the end of three.
"Their (the Greenfield) guards played well for a half and that allowed them to hang with us," Appleby said, "but we were able to increase our defensive pressure and that allowed us to break through."
D'Sean Groce led a balanced attack with 15 points as Trayvon Palmer and Devante Jackson had 14 apiece while Schimenz contributed eight and Desmond Jackson seven.
Against South Milwaukee, the Falcons were more efficient from the start, breaking out to a 20-12 first period lead and then gradually blowing it open with advantages of 35-22 at the half and 61-38 at the end of three.
Appleby said Desmond Jackson had one of his very best games of the year.
"He had 22 points, he penetrated, distributed the ball well, hit threes, defended, he was almost the entire team," Appleby said. Palmer added 17 and Groce 12 for the Falcons. Schimenz and Kinieth Lewis had six apiece.
Appleby likes the upcoming schedule, where Brown Deer has only one game a week for two weeks straight.
"The long weeks of practice help out, let us fine tune a few things," he said.
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