Whitnall boys give Kroupa 300th win, advance

March 3, 2009

Whitnall climbed the first step on the WIAA boys basketball playoff ladder March 3 with a 67-43 regional semifinal victory over visiting Muskego, earning coach Kent Kroupa his 300th career win.

The Falcons went into the contest without leading scorer Bryan Stave, who had the flu, but they shot out to a 19-7 first-quarter advantage and never trailed thereafter.

The Warriors, who won just three of 20 regular-season games, were competitive early on and trailed by just four, 32-28, entering halftime.

But the Falcons extended their lead to 51-41 through three quarters, then opened the final period with a 9-2 run keyed by Jake Lehmann to put the game away.

"No. 1, this was a tournament game that we needed and got," Kroupa said. "We really showed that we are a team to win without Bryan Stave, who was the player of the year in our division.

"We were in a one-and-done situation, like everyone else in the state, Our kids played well, but we'll have to take better care of the ball against Case Saturday than we did tonight."

Lehmann and William Pelkofer scored 15 points apiece to lead a balanced Whitnall attack. Josh Pelkofer contributed 13 points and Jack Rivera nine for the Falcons (16-5). Ethan Layer scored 13 points, Nick Hirsch eight and D.J. Mlachnik seven for Muskego, which finished 3-18

Whitnall will host Racine Case (12-8) in a 1:30 p.m. regional final Saturday, March 7. Case's Eagles defeated Milwaukee Pulaski/Arts, 64-48, in their regional semifinal.

Ethan Layer scored 13 points, Nick Hirsch eight and D.J. Mlachnik seven for Muskego, which finished 3-18.

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