It was a week the Brookfield East boys basketball team would sooner forget.
First of all, the short-handed Spartans dropped a 52-51 thriller at Badger on Dec. 10 to open the week, playing without Ryan McBride, Brian Smith and Mike Nowak. That turned out to be the week's highlight, as the Spartans then dropped a 59-54 decision at West Allis Hale in Greater Metro Conference action on Friday, snapping a 58-game conference losing streak for the Huskies.
Against Badger in a rescheduled game, East fell behind 22-12 at intermission before using a 16-10 third quarter to cut the deficit to 32-28. Even though the hustling Spartans outscored Badger 23-20 in the final period, they fell short in the end. Jake Wiesmueller scored a layup with seven seconds left, but Badger hit an inbounds play just before the buzzer for the win.
McBride sat out the game as he was recovering from a sprained ankle he sustained on Dec. 7 in a loss to Wauwatosa East. Smith (ankle) and Nowak (elbow) haven't played yet this season.
With seniors Mike Eberle and Wiesmueller each scoring 11 points, junior Josh Byrd took up the slack with 21 points, all in the second half, with 16 in the fourth period.
If the Spartans shot better (10-for-17) from the free-throw line, they could have won the game.
West Allis Hale
On Friday the Huskies came out quickly with a 20-11 first quarter and a 31-25 lead at intermission, allowing them to exchange baskets with the Spartans in the second half and get the win.
"We had poor shot selection," East coach Matt Malett said about the slow start. "We hurried some shots and missed some shots."
The Huskies were great from the free-throw line, hitting 93 percent (14-for-15) while the Spartans struggled, hitting only 7-for-15 (47 percent).
Hale's Derrick Waller led all scorers with 19 points, including three 3-pointers, while Travis Balcerzak added 17, hitting 4-for-5 from the free-throw line and three 3-pointers.
Wiesmueller led East with 17 points, Byrd added 11 and McBride had nine. Smith, playing his first game of the season, added nine points.
"Ryan was moving around better than he did against Tosa East," Malett said. "He was able to handle the ball, but he was limited defensively."
Malett spoke about Smith's first appearance after recovering from a leg injury in football.
"You can definitely see the chemistry between Brian and McBride," he said. "They really read each other well. But you can see that Brian is not 100 percent yet. Between his lungs and legs he's a work in progress."
Nowak has to see the doctor; his timetable is uncertain.
The Spartans are 0-2 in conference and 3-4 overall, having lost four games by 13 points.
"The guys have a good attitude and they're looking at the big picture," Malett said.
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