Although his team came out of the Brookfield Central Shootout with two defeats, Cedarburg girls basketball coach Dave Ross saw plenty of benefit as well.
"This tournament showed that we can play with the top teams in the state," Ross said. "We will get better as the year goes on, and people learn their new roles. There were so many good teams and good coaches there, and it was fun to be a part of it."
The Bulldogs fell to perennial Division 2 power Green Bay Notre Dame, 54-38, in their opener on Nov. 25 but then battled Division 1 standout D.C. Everest all the way before falling, 41-40, on Nov. 26.
The game against Everest, which is rated in the top 10 in Division 1, was close, and Cedarburg held a slim lead for some of the second half.
The Bulldogs were down 41-40 in the final seconds when Kalli Murphy took the ball the length of the court, made a slick move in the lane and put up a shot that traveled completely around the rim before falling out at the buzzer.
Kennedy Ross paced Cedarburg with 14 points, Murphy added 11 points and Morgan Wallace 9 points.
In the earlier game, the Bulldogs were not at their best against Notre Dame, although they shaved an 11-point halftime deficit to 7 early in the second half.
Ross tallied 10 points, Kalli Murphy 8 and Kendra Murphy 6 points for Cedarburg.
"We did not play well," coach Ross said. "We were just out of sync."
In this tournament, coaches choose a player of the game for the other side. Kalli Murphy won that honor in the Notre Dame contest, and Ross was selected by the Everest coach.
The Bulldogs begin North Shore Conference play at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at home against Whitefish Bay.
They then step out of conference again to take on Kenosha Tremper at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, on the road. Tremper is regarded as a contender in the Southeast Conference this season.