Up-tempo West Allis Hale girls basketball runs past Bulldogs
Girls keep pressure on rival in victory
Good things can happen for a basketball team when it successfully uses a fast-paced, up-tempo style.
The West Allis Hale girls found that out on Dec. 17 when they blitzed rival West Allis Central with a 21-2 run in the first quarter to go up by 20 points.
They rode that burst the rest of the way in a 71-45 romp that gave them their first Greater Metro Conference victory of the season.
Hale hits 54 in half
Hale, using a high-speed offense and full-court pressure on defense, actually collected 54 first-half points before slowing things down in the second half.
"I hope everybody saw that our style is much changed from past years," Hale head coach George Sotiros said. "We're trying to push the ball. I think in this day and age, it's a style that girls like to play. It is tough for them to be in a 30-21 game."
Sotiros added that the players are not the only ones to be attracted by the new style.
"We had a lot of people stay for the girls game (which followed the boys contest that night), and that's big-time," he continued. "You can see the enthusiasm we have in our program, and I'm just tickled pink."
Central stayed close early on as Tyana Turkvan hit a free throw to bring her team within 8-7 midway through the first period.
The Huskies then tallied 14 straight points, six from Sam Schuh, to go up 22-7. A free throw from Mary Martens broke that string, but Breanna Bolskar netted a 3-point shot for a 25-8 lead.
Central's Megan Turner also made a free throw before Kara Placzek and Katie Swofford hit shots that capped the 21-2 run and gave Hale a 29-9 lead.
The burst was fueled by numerous turnovers by the Bulldogs off the Hale press.
"We had practiced to break the press but just got nervous, made bad passes and weren't passing to the right person," Central head coach Charles Kazel said.
The Huskies then outscored the Bulldogs 25-10 in a second period that featured an incredible 30 free throw attempts, with 18 made. When all the charity shooting was over, Hale was up 54-19.
The second half was merely a formality, as Sotiros took off the press and both teams substituted liberally.
Kazel applauded the Hale coach for his decision to "call off the dogs" and not use the press in the second half, saying, "That was a classy move by coach."
Sotiros said it was an easy decision to make.
"You're not out to embarrass anybody," he said. "We preach a lot about West Allis first. We can beat the other team's brains out in this game, but then we root for each other when we're playing the Brookfields and Tosas of the world."
Schuh and Bolskar each tallied 12 points for Hale, as 13 girls scored. Nikita Conroy totaled nine points and Turkvan eight for Central, which saw 10 girls enter the scorebook.
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