EAST BOYS BASKETBALL
What goes around comes around in life, but all Brookfield East coach Matt Malett cared about was the victory.
Back on Dec. 14, West Allis Hale snapped a 58-game losing streak with a 59-54 win over Brookfield East. The Spartans, who were 0-9 in Greater Metro Conference play, got a measure of revenge, with a 53-44 victory at home, their first conference win.
But no where was that on Malett's mind.
"Whether winning seven games in a row or losing seven in a row, our goals stay the same," a happy Malett said. "I wasn't even thinking of that (revenge). In fact, I try not to get involved in that."
The Spartans got off to a 35-14 halftime lead, as point guard Ryan McBride banked in a 3-pointer on the buzzer. In the end, they saw all but three points of that lead disappear in the fourth period.
The Huskies used a 15-4 third period as Derrick Waller scored 12 of their points to cut their deficit to 10 points going into the fourth quarter. McBride picked up his third foul with 4:54 in the period.
Two 3-point baskets by Noel Crabtree sandwiched around a basket by Travis Balcerzak cut the Spartans lead to three, 44-41, with 2:05 left.
"It was frustrating not being out there," McBride said of his time on the bench, as he watched Hale make a game of it. "But I had confidence in my teammates responding.
"We have faced adversity at home and I just knew we would come out and get this first win."
Two free throws by Mike Novak and sophomore guard Corey Smith sandwiched around a free throw by Balcerzak gave East a 48-42 lead and then the Spartans used free throws down the stretch to hang on for the win as McBride had four free throws sandwiched around one by Smith.
Malett talked about his approach with his team down the stretch.
"We tried not to panic," he said. "I didn't want to put pressure on them to think about things like 'Here we go again.' I looked the seniors in the eye and told them 'Don't panic, We work on these situations every day.' "
Hale did an excellent job on Novak, who had been averaging over 20 points a game lately. They put three players on him - behind, in front of and to his left or right, depending on where he was on the court.
"We have a lot of plays where I kick the ball back out and then we repost," Novak said. "We know teams will be doubling down on me."
Malett was pleased with the way Novak has given to his team since his return from a right forearm injury.
"He is a great kid and the type of guy who will say very little except 'What time can I get in the gym tomorrow,' " he said. "That's what I love about him. His work ethic."
Novak still led the Spartans with 14 points, but eight came in the first quarter. McBride had 13, including 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
"McBride did a nice job managing the game, controlling the situation," he said. "He got us into our offense."
Malett then spoke about how much the win meant to the Spartans.
"It's huge. The kids think a lot about those things. I never stopped believing throughout this. We tried to stayed true to our same goals, be positive, stay together with every loss. These kids believed and that was huge."
EAST GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Spartans blew out West Allis Hale, 69-40, on Friday on the road, their fourth victory in six games.
The suddenly-explosive Spartans led 34-16 at intermission and then outscored the Huskies in the second half 35-24.
East went to the free throw line 27 times and sank 19, a .703 shooting percentage.
Angela Pichler, who scored 22 points and had three 3s, and Kellie Goodman, who had 15 and two 3s, each sank 5-of-6 from the free throw line, while Mariah Miller added 17 points, hitting 3-of- 5 free throws. Emily Utic also pitched in with eight points.
The Brookfield East girls and boys took second overall in a slalom race on Jan. 30 at Alpine Valley, competing against Waukesha, Badger and Whitefish Bay.
Individually for the boys, Ben Wellman took first place overall and Brad Wolf (fourth) and Mike Wolf (seventh) placed in the top 10. Henry Termuehlen (11th), Matt Filliat (19th) and Jacob Taylor (21st) rounded out the lineup.
Individually for the girls, Hailey McKenna placed second while other top-10 racers were Allie Amato (third), Andrea Moyer (seventh) and Maddie McCann (eighth). Julia Jacob (12th) and Clare Procknow (22nd) also competed.
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