After a recent loss to Pewaukee, New Berlin Eisenhower coach Dave Scheidegger shared a thought on how he felt teams would not want to play his Lions late in the season. The premonition of the veteran coach is proving true.
Eisenhower continued its second-half surge with two more wins last week, earning an 81-42 rout of Greenfield on Jan. 31 and a 65-30 trouncing of Cudahy on Feb. 3. On a five-game winning streak and winners of nine of their last 10, the Lions improved to 12-5 overall and 8-4 in the Woodland West.
"The execution and the ownership of the offense and the defense and the roles has been good," Eisenhower coach Dave Scheidegger said. "We are definitely growing. You want it to become second nature and a habit. They don't have to think about it as much right now. There's more understanding. Then they can just play without having to think about it. It is becoming second nature in how we play.
"There's still many things left to do. You want everyone to enjoy the moments, but at the same point each day you have to do a little better and enjoy the process."
The Lions jumped on Greenfield from the start, leading, 43-24, at halftime en route to 39-point victory. Eisenhower went 36-for-54 (66.7 percent) from the field and tallied 32 assists to just 12 turnovers.
Senior forward Sullivan Kulju led Eisenhower with 24 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Junior guard Bryce Miller continued his torrid shooting pace by hitting 5 of 7 3-point attempts and finished with 19 points. Senior forward Matt Rolefson scored 17 points with five rebounds; junior forward Joe Lang had 8 points; senior forward Max Maier had five rebounds and five assists; and senior guard Sam Hluchnik dished out seven assists.
Ten difference players scored to lead Eisenhower to a 35-point rout on the road at Cudahy on Feb. 3.
Kulju paced the Lions with 17 points, and Miller knocked down three 3-pointers to finish with 13 points. Rolefson added 9 points, while junior guard Dominic Quirk and junior forward Stephan Halusan each scored 6 points.
The Lions will be tested with their upcoming schedule, as they were slated to face a pair of state-ranked teams last week in Pius XI (No. 6 in Division 2) and Waunakee (No. 3 in Division 2).
Eisenhower was scheduled to play at Pius XI (15-2, 9-2 Woodland West) on Feb. 7 before returning home to face Greendale (8-10, 4-8) at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10.
The Lions added a nonconference game against Waunakee (14-1, 8-0 Badger North) at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at Madison College, filling the schedule void left by the cancellation of a game against Hortonville at the Kwik Trip Classic on Dec. 17.
"It is going to help us focus on improvement," Scheidegger said. "The more you overload your schedule and play against program and teams, that's how you get better. This will be a challenging week, but it will help us focus and work on things we need to work on, whether it is rebounding or being more physical. It will grow the composure and trust."