The Milton boys basketball team was defeated by Elkhorn, 81-55, in a season-opening non-conference game Tuesday, Nov. 26, in Elkhorn.
The Red Hawks (0-1) trailed 37-26 at halftime, but a 44-point second half helped the Elks separate after the break
Elkhorn (1-0) advanced to the WIAA Division 2 State Tournament last season with a 23-4 record.
“One of the reasons we like to play a really good program early on in the year is to expose ourselves and we definitely got exposed,” Milton head coach Alex Olson said. “There was a lot to take away from the game that I think we’ll learn from them going ahead. That’s why you play good teams early on. We had some really solid moments of playing against a really good program and a really good team.”
Milton was led by junior Sam Burdette, who scored a team-high 16 points. Burdette netted eight points in each half, with two 3-pointers coming in both halves.
“Sam shoots the ball extraordinarily well, and he did that throughout the summer, so it’s not surprising that he did it in the first game,” Olson said.
“The thing he has done really well the last few days in practice is finishing around the rim, his floater game, just really becoming a complete basketball player. It’s not going to happen overnight, but we know the potential Sam has,” Olson added.
Sophomore guard Jack Campion also broke double digits with 14 points for the Red Hawks.
“Jack did some really nice things, but I think he would be the first one to tell you the team and him have their best games ahead of us,” Olson said.
Sophomore Zack Bothun collected nine points, connecting on three shots from beyond the arc.
“He hit a couple threes that were really in rhythm, he’s not going to take bad shots and he’s probably going to guard the team’s best player every game.” Olson said. “That’s really a coaches dream.”
Of Milton’s 19 made field goals, 13 were 3-pointers.
“We have some pretty talented outside shooters,” Olson said. “With that, you can’t get three-happy. That’s what we’ve worked on, even though we shot 43 percent from three Tuesday. We shot much worse from two. One of the things we worked on is getting physical down low and getting creative and getting more points in the paint.”
Junior Evan Jordahl scored five points in the defeat. Elkhorn’s Jordan Johnson dropped a game-high 28 points.
Milton had its home opener on Tuesday, Dec. 3, versus Portage, but results were not available by publication time. The Red Hawks will be back in Milton on Saturday, Dec. 7, to open Badger South Conference play against Stoughton at 1:30 p.m.