Trojans back on track after pair of wins
By Greg Bates
PULASKI – After dropping seven of their last nine games, the Green Bay Southwest boys’ basketball team was slumping.
Trojans senior star Connor Pytleski feels his team is back on track after scoring a 79-61 victory at Pulaski on Thursday night.
“We had a rough two weeks the last two weeks, so going 2-0 this week felt really good,” Pytleski said.
Green Bay Southwest downed Sheboygan South 54-38 on Jan. 24 and kept its momentum going into the road test against Pulaski.
Despite beating two of the bottom teams in the Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC), the wins were important. That’s especially true when playing on the road.
“We can’t dictate our schedule, but we’re at a point in our schedule where we’ve got to get our wins when we can,” Green Bay Southwest coach John Polkowski said. “We were evenly-matched teams if you look at our records, and, obviously, it feels good to get a win no matter any way you get it. Pulaski’s a
tough out, so it feels good to kind of not relax, but feel confident in what we’re doing and not questioning ourselves.”
In a tight first half, Green Bay Southwest (9-8, 7-5 FRCC) was up one point before scoring the final six points to go into the locker room up, 31-24.
After Pulaski (6-10, 3-8 FRCC) made it a one-point game again, the Trojans rattled off eight straight points to take a 55-46 lead.
But again, the Red Raiders cut their deficit to four, 57-53, with 6:26 remaining in the second half.
Green Bay Southwest responded with an 18-3 run — as Pytleski scored some big baskets — to pull away.
“Running in transition, getting the defensive boards, getting out on the shooters — I think we all kind of played together as a team there and really just pulled it out,” said Pytleski, who scored a game-high 25 points.
Defense was a big key during that game-changing stretch to help the Trojans get the victory.
“It’s been an emphasis all season,” Polkowski said. “It’s basically if you want to do it, do it. If you don’t, then tough sledding from there. … Love where we’re at with that, can’t say enough. CJ Danforth, statistically, he may not put points up and get boards and whatnot, but he did his job. Credit to him, he had an awesome night.”
Pulaski coach Dave Shaw thought his guys were tired out by that point in the game when things started to slip away.
“They were able to execute and make some baskets in the big possessions and we weren’t,” Shaw said.
“We didn’t knock the shots down when we needed to. You work hard to get back and you think you’re within striking distance and that takes a lot of energy and then we gave up a run, and that was too much.”
Miles Rauschenbach added 13 points for Green Bay Southwest. Zaire Russell and Chris Seals chipped in 10 points apiece.
Pulaski — which had Brock Steinbrecher and Derek Block back in the lineup after sustaining early-season ankle injuries — was led by Derek Shaw with 19 points. Brady Wotruba put in 12 points, all in the second half.