Pelkofer becomes Whitnall's new 1,000-point man
Will Pelkofer joins cousin in elite group of scorers
Greenfield — Whitnall's Will Pelkofer can take a sigh of relief now that he's finally done it.
With 6 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the first half of Whitnall's Woodland Black Division matchup against visiting Wauwatosa West on Friday, Pelkofer scored a fastbreak layup to give him 1,001 career points. Pelkofer finished with 24 points in the 62-57 loss.
In doing so, he joined his cousin, Jarrod Pelkofer - who, along with Will's parents, was on-hand to witness the milestone - on a short list of players to reach the 1,000-point plateau in Falcons' history.
Hard work pays off
Pelkofer, who acknowledged his excitement at reaching the mark, didn't pretend that it came easy.
"It's what you get for shooting hours after practice - 100 to 1,000 free throws and shots," he said. "So I worked for it and finally got there.
"It was nice to have my cousin, Jarrod, and my parents here to share it with me."
The Falcons and Trojans both took time to congratulate the four-year varsity star.
A seasoned veteran
Pelkofer reached the milestone thanks to a dramatic increase in scoring this season.
After averaging 12.9 points per game last season and coming into the season with 651 career points, Pelkofer's season average has skyrocketed to 23.1 points per game, with four regular season games remaining.
Whitnall coach Kent Kroupa attributes his ability to score to his high basketball I.Q. and athleticism.
"It all starts with his quickness and it ends with his vision," Kroupa said. "He has the ability to get to the hole, he has the ability to pass and he's a team player. If the shots are there, he'll take the shots. If they're not, he's one of our best passers.
"He's just a double-, triple-threat. You can't stop him inside; it's hard to stop him. He'll hit the 3 too, so choose your poison."
Pelkofer is not just a scorer.
"The best thing about him is his defense," Kroupa said. "He's as aggressive on defense as he is on offense."
Improving himself and team
Both Pelkofer and the Falcons have benefited from his improved play. Pelkofer contributed steadily to start his career, scoring 355 combined points his freshman and sophomore campaigns. He started to show signs that he could be a prolific scorer during his junior season, when he scored 296 points.
"He came in as a freshman and got better and better," Kroupa said. "He's matured tremendously."
In Pelkofer's four years on varsity, the Falcons' record is 51-32 overall, including 11-5 this season. In the four years prior to his arrival, the Falcons went 38-53 overall, which included a 2-40 record from 2004 through 2006.
"He's our leader," Kroupa said. "He's just been an amazing asset to the program for the last four years."
Making an uncertain list
It is unknown how many 1,000-point scorers have played at Whitnall or whom the school's all-time leading scorer is. What is known, however, is that Jarrod Pelkofer scored 1,464 during a career that spanned 2000-04.
Will Pelkofer is the only player in the NOW coverage area - boy or girl - expected to crack the 1,000-point barrier this season. Nicolet senior Myles Henry is the second active career leading boys scorer with 816 points. Oak Creek's Angela Rodiguez was on pace to be the only girl to reach 1,000 this season before an ankle injury derailed her chances. She stands at 865 points.
Tom "Sky" Skibosh and David Cotey contributed to this story.
SCORE: Wauwatosa West 62, Whitnall 57
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 5
LOWDOWN: West's Ray Sterling (25) and Sam Krenzien (23) combined for 48 points. Whitnall had a chance to take a lead in the fourth quarter but came up empty on three straight possessions.
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