The Brookfield East boys basketball team has a bright future despite the fact that they just finished with a 5-18 overall record and a 2-12 mark in the Greater Metro Conference, finishing last.
The Spartans are losing only one senior — Alvado Young (2.5 points) — and will return all their key young players, who have an important season of experience under their belt.
The Spartans went through losing streaks of eight, five and four games during the season, but eight times they lost by 6 or fewer points.
They lost to West Allis Hale by 6 points; Marquette by 5; Hale by 3; Marquette, West Allis Central, Menomonee Falls and Oak Creek by 2; and Wauwatosa East by 1.
"We knew we would take our lumps," coach Matt Malett said. "But we should have had a few more wins. The experience was important with a lot of young guys."
Malett has 11 returning players — seven juniors, three sophomores and a freshman.
That includes juniors Christian Simon (14.7 points per game) and Jimmy Engelhart (12.9 ppg), who earned second-team all-conference and honorable mention, respectively.
The other juniors were Corey Smith (7.8), Alex Magestro (3.8), Will Ikpi (3.6), Brandon Werry (3.4) and Adam Van Rens (3.0). The sophomores were Dominic Cartier (6.4), Alex Plavsic (2.4) and Lance Dismukes and freshman Sam Gauger (2.6).
At the team awards banquet March 20, Simon was named Most Valuable Player, Cartier claimed the Toughness Award and Magestro earned the Most Improved Player Award.
Simon, Engelhart and Van Rens were namd captains.
The Spartans' head coach is ready for his team to take the next step next season.
"With our youth, the consistency factor hurt. We were up and down," Malett said. "We'd get down early, claw back. We need to strive for consistency. I'm sick of just competing. I'm ready to just win."
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