Brookfield East Basketball Crowned Regional Champions in Blowout Victory Over Sheboygan North


Angela Graf

East players protest a call made by the referee

David Turicek, Writer

After defeating Hartford Union this past Friday in the first game of the WIAA State Tournament, Brookfield East came up against the 6-seed of their side of the bracket: Sheboygan North High School. While the Spartans were definitely the favorites for this match, many fans knew that anything could happen in the playoffs—especially with some of the top teams at hand.

As one may expect, the Spartans brought the intensity right from the first whistle. Their quickness and effective ball-movement again generated them an early series of opportunities and allowed the Spartans to take an early lead.

Anyone in the Brookfield East Fieldhouse could feel the passion and energy of both teams and their supporters. Being the home side, however, the Spartans definitely had the louder presence with their endless chants and cheers.Their encouragement, along with the talent of the Spartan players, is a definite recipe for success.

In the first half, despite having a few difficulties early on, the Spartans started to build upon a lead. Brookfield East’s Sam McGath (11) played a major role in the Spartan success. Whether it was a shot from the perimeter or a drive down low, McGath nailed his shots. He helped the Spartans come into halftime with a comfortable 16-37 lead.

It was clear that Sheboygan North needed to switch up their tactics if they were hoping to progress into the next round. But as a spectator, it was difficult to discern what they could really do better. The Spartans are playing their best basketball right now, and sometimes, there is not much the opponents can do to hinder their dominance.

While Sheboygan North may have put more focus on containing McGath, they had no answer for Riley LeTourneau (12), who really showed what he is capable of in the second half. Possession after possession, the Spartans were able to feed the ball to LeTourneau at the post and with his strength, he could power his way to the basket and either draw the foul, score the basket, or do both. Once LeTourneau got into his rhythm, Sheboygan North struggled to defend. The Spartans soon increased their lead to twenty points, and eventually thirty points.

With quite an extensive lead, in the final moments of the match, Brookfield East brought in many of the fan-favorites, members of the “bench mob,” in to close the game. Since Spartan fans saw their side leading for the majority of the match, seeing players like Carter Cousland and Alex Graf get a chance to show their talents was emotional.

In the end, Brookfield East defeated Sheboygan North 37-68 in a rather easy-going yet defining match for the team. As shown by his suppression of Sussex Hamilton’s Patrick Baldwin Jr. (10) and his excellence tonight, McGath is clearly very special. He can both defend exceptionally and score whenever the Spartans need him to. Furthermore, LeTourneau again showed all fans in attendance that he is one of the most dominant big men in the league. Both players receive the highly coveted player(s) of the match award.

The Brookfield East victory against Sheboygan North means that the Spartans will be moving on in the tournament to play their cross-town rivals, the 2-seed, Brookfield Central. Even though both teams would not mind traveling to their opponents fieldhouse due to the proximity between the two schools, the game is scheduled for this Thursday, March 7th, at West Allis Central High School.

Despite having a higher seed in the tournament, the Spartans are surely not going to be counted out for this match. With all the talent on both sides, it will be an intense and exciting battle. The winner will likely play Sussex Hamilton, assuming that Hamilton defeats Homestead, in the Sectional Championship game. If they were to defeat Sussex Hamilton, the Spartans would reserve their spot in the “Final Four” of the State Tournament, playing at the Kohls Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The key for Brookfield East is to sustain their form and continue using their most recent tactics because if they do, there are not many teams that will be able to stop them.

Players of the Match

  • Riley LeTourneau- Brookfield East (25 points)
  • Sam McGath – Brookfield East (22 points)

Other Notable Performances

  • Brent Widder – Sheboygan North, Senior (15 points)