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Scoring burst ends season for West Allis Central boys basketball

West Allis Central’s Keith Leavy (right) and Jerome Cummings hit the boards hard in action from this season. The Bulldogs fell to Racine Case 89-73 on March 6 in a WIAA Division 1 sectional contest.

West Allis Central’s Keith Leavy (right) and Jerome Cummings hit the boards hard in action from this season. The Bulldogs fell to Racine Case 89-73 on March 6 in a WIAA Division 1 sectional contest. Photo By C.T. Kruger

March 7, 2014

A basketball team boasting as much quickness and athleticism as this season's Racine Case boys squad is bound to put together a few spurts over the course of a game.

West Allis Central became the victim of a couple big scoring bursts by the Eagles in a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal contest on March 6 at Oak Creek High School.

Case went on a 10-1 run near the end of the first half to transform a narrow three-point lead into a 12-point advantage.

Even more costly for the Bulldogs, the Eagles opened the second half with an 18-3 blitz that blew the margin to 26 points.

Case then coasted to an 89-73 victory to advance to a sectional championship game against Milwaukee King, which it lost 87-78 to finish 21-4.

West Allis Central put together a fine season at 20-5.

Central was too fast

"We did some things uncharacteristically," head coach David Mlachnik said. "We didn't get back in transition. Defensively, they (the Eagles) got some easy ones. Offensively, we were rushing things. We never got settled. (Case) is a great team. They (the Eagles) are big, they're athletic, they get downcourt. Give all the credit to them."

The game against Case was up-tempo from the start, with both teams using their athletic ability to create close shots and layins off drives to the basket and fast breaks.

The score stood at 20-20 after one frantic quarter, as Jaquan Martin worked the offensive boards hard to score nine points.

The Eagles used another of their patented scoring runs, this time 14-3, to take an 11-point lead midway through the second period.

Central battled back, though, drawing within 35-32.

Case answered with its 10-1 burst for a 45-33 lead in the final minute. Ron Turkvan netted a 3-point field goal to bring the Bulldogs closer, but they still trailed 47-36 at the half.

At that point, they were still in the game, but that quickly changed in the opening minutes of the second half.

Case's David Clark, a 6-foot, 7-inch power forward, opened the half by nailing a 3-point shot. D'Angelo Jackson followed with a driving layup, and Darion King connected on another basket to make it 54-36.

Turkvan hit two free throws to end the scoring string, but King found Malik House with a beautiful pass in the lane to set up a three-point play.

Tyrese Pinson scored on another drive, Clark netted another 3-pointer and Jackson tallied on a breakaway to build the lead to 65-39.

Central, meanwhile, missed its first 11 shots from the floor, many of which rimmed out. Turkvan finally connected on a jumper with 3 minutes, 14 seconds left for the first field goal of the third period.

"When we get behind, we start to rush things," Mlachnik said. "We talked to the guys about being patient and doing their thing, just running our offense. A lot of times, we get panicked and start doing things too fast. That quarter, that happened."

The Eagles maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way. Jerome Cummings scored nine fourth-period points as Central came within 84-70 with 1:37 left but could get no closer.

Cummings leads Bulldogs

Cummings finished with 21 points to lead the Bulldogs, while Devaughn Ross had a nice game with 17 points. Brandon Key scored 14 points and Turkvan 11.

For Case, Jackson tallied 21 points, King 13 and House 12 to pace a balanced attack. The Eagles racked up 33 field goals on the night.

"Defensively, we were gambling, uncharacteristically," Mlachnik said.

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