By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY – Ryan Sweeney scored 33 points as Green Bay East defeated Green Bay Southwest 80-69 in a nonconference boys’ basketball game Jan. 24 at Southwest High School.
“It’s an inner-city Green Bay battle,” Sweeney said about the rivalry. “We knew (Southwest) would game plan and be ready for us. We had to ignore the crowd and keep playing our game. We got another win under our belt.”
Bill Felix added 16 points for the Red Devils, who improved to 12-1 on the season.
Connor Pytleski paved the way for the Trojans with 26 points.
East took a 15-8 lead behind a couple top-of-the-key triples by Jalen Flowers.
The Trojans, however, found a spark with its stifling full-court pressure that eventually wore on the Red Devils, causing numerous first-half turnovers.
“We weren’t strong with the basketball after building the early lead,” East Head Coach Rick Rosinski said. “We had the opportunity to attack, and we missed a bunch of shots underneath the rim.”
After David Danforth ripped the cover off a long 3-pointer, Pytleski converted an old-fashioned three-point play and then a layup to cut the lead to 28-25 with six minutes remaining in the first half.
The Red Devils took a precarious 37-31 lead into the break and extended the margin to double digits early in the second half after Felix muscled his way into the paint for a basket.
Southwest cut the margin to 50-46 with about 10 minutes left when Cole Bzdawka hit a baseline jumper.
Late in the game, with East up 62-57, Sweeney scored eight points during a 10-0 spurt to bump the lead to 72-57.
“Southwest was trying to speed us up,” Sweeney said. “At halftime, we talked about slowing down and making them guard us. I knew I had to take over the game, and my teammates trusted me to do that. We’re clicking as a team with our chemistry. We’re having lots of fun with it.”
The Red Devils are back in action tonight, Jan. 25, as they travel to Seymour, while Southwest hosts Green Bay Preble.
“Since we came back from COVID-19, we’re still trying to get our legs,” Rosinski said. “Southwest played hard, and they made some shots. Our defense got lots stronger in the second half to enable us to get the victory.”