West Allis Hale notches first win over Central in boys basketball in five years
Huskies' Crabtree hits eight of team's 12 three-pointers
After a close call the first time around, the West Allis Hale boys basketball team broke through against rival West Allis Central in the rematch on Jan. 29.
The Huskies rode 12 three-pointers, including eight from Noel Crabtree, to a convincing 69-53 triumph over the Bulldogs on Hale's home floor.
In December, Hale took Central into overtime before falling, 68-66, losing a double-digit lead and missing a potential tying shot at the buzzer.
That defeat extended the Huskies' Greater Metro Conference losing streak to 58 games, although they went on to end that dubious streak in their next contest.
The narrow loss to a team Hale had not beaten since the 2007-08 season made last week's victory that much sweeter for head coach John Palesse and his squad.
"That's another monkey off our backs," Palesse said. "Not having success against your crosstown rival is a tough thing to handle for 16 and 17-year-old kids. To see the smiles on the players' faces after the victory said it all.
"The first loss to Central hurt; to come that close and lose in overtime was painful, especially given our recent history. Our guys were determined to put forth a great effort against a very good team in Central."
It was also the Huskies' second GMC victory of the campaign as they improved to 2-7 in the conference and 9-8 overall.
"Any conference win is important to the program," Palesse said. "Our ambitions are to get the program competing at a high level in conference, and the process to get there will be challenging. We play in the best conference in the state and we welcome that challenge. We cherish any conference win, and to beat Central was a special win."
For Central head coach Dave Mlachnik, though, the loss was just another in a string of setbacks. The Bulldogs slipped to 2-7 in the GMC and 7-10 overall.
"We've been playing good teams," Mlachnik said, "and we have to put a 32-minute game together. Our guys are still believing, though."
Hale was ahead 31-25 at the half and 49-42 after three quarters before putting away the game with a 20-11 fourth period.
"It was nip and tuck all the way through," Mlachnik said. "Offensively, we didn't move the ball well. We forced some shots and didn't get the proper rotations on offense."
The Huskies just kept hitting from the outside, especially Crabtree, who finished with 27 points to lead all scorers. Derrick Waller added a trio of 3-pointers en route to 17 points and Nick Sotiros added one trey in his 11 points.
Jaquan Martin scored 18 points for Central, while Brandon Key added 11 points and Ron Turkvan, Jerome Cummings and Jequan Carson each tallied six points.
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