Hales Corners - After his team allowed 24 points in the second quarter on Friday night against Greenfield, Whitnall girls basketball coach Keith Larson had a few choice words for the Falcons at halftime.
His players certainly took what he said to heart, as they gave up a stunning total of four points in the second half en route to a 56-37 victory.
'We got off to a 21-9 lead after the first period,' Larson said, 'and then we got a little careless, and Greenfield played well. We talked about it at halftime, and we played really disciplined basketball in the second half. We executed the things we needed to do.
'We just had more focus offensively and defensively. It was encouraging to see.'
Whitnall still enjoyed a 35-33 halftime lead but then blew open the game in the second half, outscoring the Hustlin' Hawks, 21-4, to improve to 2-0 in the Woodland Conference East Division and 3-1 overall.
Ashley Markowiak tallied a game-high 16 points and added four steals, while Candace Pollock totaled 11 points, Rachael Shulta nine points and Gabby Weis and Jackie Gruszka seven apiece. Gruszka also pulled down eight rebounds and Lizzy Menden tallied six boards.
Whitnall also defeated Brown Deer, 52-37, on Nov. 27 behind 13 points from Pollock, 10 by Markowiak and Gruszka, while Menden had seven. Gruszka again collected eight rebounds, while Ann Marie Bay had five boards and seven steals.
Larson added that his team has yet to play at full strength. Shulta missed the first two games and Bay was out for the Greenfield contest, as both had other commitments.
The Falcons host Shorewood at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Waterford at 7 p.m. Dec. 11.