Hales Corners - Some growing pains were evident with the Whitnall boys basketball team in its season opener on Saturday afternoon.
The Falcons fell to Waukesha West, 68-46, in the head coaching debut of Steve Kujawa.
"Any time you have a new offense, you need to establish continuity among the guys," Kujawa said. "We have only three guys who played major time last season, and we didn't come out like we needed to."
It didn't help the Falcons' cause that West was hot from outside, hitting a pair of 3-point field goals in the first quarter and four in the second period in taking a 35-16 halftime lead.
"We didn't close down on their shooters," the coach said. "We knew they had some guys who could hit from long range.
"We made some defensive adjustments and played much better in the second half."
Whitnall was only outscored 33-30 after halftime.
"We had more penetration and dribble-drive opportunities," Kujawa said. "In the first half, we were tentative, but in the second half, we were more confident."
Sam Mentkowski led Whitnall with 12 points, while Nathan Schaefer and Brent Sluka both scored eight points.
The next-highest scorer, though, was Chris Kelnhofer with four points.
"This is something to build upon," Kujawa said. "These kids won't be shaken by this."
The Falcons started Woodland Conference play on Tuesday at St. Francis and take on Bradley Tech at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Wisconsin Lutheran College in the Fresh Coast Classic.
They then visit Brown Deer at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
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