Brookfield Central girls basketball coach Dan Wandrey compared his team to a chameleon.
“We figure out ways to do what we need to do at given times,” he said. The Lancers (12-4 overall, 9-0 in Greater Metro Conference) have done that quite well, having won seven consecutive games before dropping a 51-43 decision to once-beaten New Berlin Eisenhower on Tuesday. They’ll try to “change colors” again Friday at crosstown rival Brookfield East, beginning at 6 p.m.
It hasn’t necessarily been a dominating run, with wins by five over West Allis Central, by three over Sussex Hamilton and by seven over Divine Savior Holy Angels.
But, as Wandrey said, whether it’s 3-point shooting or defense or taking care of the ball, his team manages to do what’s necessary to come out on top.
Anna Liewen tops the Lancers with a 13.2 scoring average, while Valerierose Agnello contributes more than nine points and nine rebounds per game. Agnello has been a major contributor on varsity for three years, Wandrey said, and does a little bit of everything.
“She’s always been a great defensive player and rebounder,” Wandrey said. “She’s not scoring a lot more, but maybe scoring in some different ways.”
The Lancers dominated the first meeting between the teams on Jan. 7, winning 63-35. Brookfield East coach Kelly Lam said her team needs to protect the ball better, then turn defense into points.
“In order for us to beat Central, we need to get in the passing lanes, get steals and capitalize in transition,” she said. “If we don’t do that, it’s going to be very difficult for us to beat Central.
Brookfield East (4-10, 3-5) lost two guards earlier this year to what Lam called “internal issues,” leading to the challenges with ball handling. But if the Spartans can get beyond pressure, they have a size advantage.
Laura Burbach is a 6-foot-3-inch senior and Lizzy Borkhus is a 6-foot senior. Burbach leads the team in scoring and Borkhus is strong around the basket, Lam said. They are supported by versatile senior Allie Rooney, who is 5 feet 9 inches.
Look for highlights of the game here Saturday morning as the boys-girls doubleheader is the Patch Game of the Week.