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West Allis Central's Key led Bulldogs' resurgence

Junior guard named to All-Suburban team after having big year

West Allis Central’s Brandon Key goes up for a shot over West Allis Hale’s Mat Wall this season. Key, who led the Bulldogs to a 20-5 mark and averaged 15.4 points per game and 7.3 assists, was named to the 2013-14 NOW Newspapers All-Suburban Team.

West Allis Central’s Brandon Key goes up for a shot over West Allis Hale’s Mat Wall this season. Key, who led the Bulldogs to a 20-5 mark and averaged 15.4 points per game and 7.3 assists, was named to the 2013-14 NOW Newspapers All-Suburban Team. Photo By C.T. Kruger

April 1, 2014

The comeback season enjoyed by the West Allis Central boys basketball team was literally 'keyed' by its junior point guard.

Brandon Key provided floor leadership, strong decision-making and talents on both offense and defense to help the Bulldogs finish with 20 victories, doubling their total from the previous season.

Central went 20-5 for the campaign, snaring second place behind unbeaten Brookfield Central in the Greater Metro Conference and advancing to a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal contest against Racine Case.

Key was a big reason for the surge, as he averaged 15.4 points, 7.3 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 2.2 steals this season.

That all-around performance, along with his role in turning around the Bulldogs' fortunes, places Key on the 2013-14 NOW Newspapers All-Suburban Team.

Key is versatile

Key did a little bit of everything for the Bulldogs.

On offense, he used his quickness to penetrate the lane and either go in for a layup or pass off to a teammate for an inside shot. Key could also step outside and hit the mid-range jumper or 3-pointer.

Defensively, he would pester the opposition's guards and again would use his quickness to come up with deflections or steals.

"Brandon is a great leader," Central head coach Dave Mlachnik said. "He is a true point guard. Brandon did an outstanding job this year of distributing the ball to different scorers, but also knew when to take over and score himself.

"His basketball IQ is so high that he was an extension of the coach on the floor.

"His creativity and vision on the floor is what makes Brandon one of the elite players in the area."

Mlachnik said Key developed both on and off the court.

"We saw growth both as a player and as a person," the coach said. "He really matured this season."

Key was named first-team all-Greater Metro along with senior teammate Ron Turkvan.

Key was also chosen for an all-star game this summer in Indianapolis featuring top juniors from 12 states.

He will return

The best news for Mlachnik is that Key is just a junior. He will return next season, along with other key performers such as Devaughn Ross, David Mlachnik and Jerome Cummings, as the Bulldogs look to move past Brookfield Central into the top spot in the GMC.

As for colleges, Coach Mlachnik said the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay are already showing interest in him.

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