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West Allis Central boys basketball looks to ace chemistry

Bulldogs open year with rout of Vikings

West Allis Central's Brandon Key (front) and Jaquan Martin bring the ball upcourt at West Allis Hale last season. Both players are back for the Bulldogs in 2013-14.

West Allis Central's Brandon Key (front) and Jaquan Martin bring the ball upcourt at West Allis Hale last season. Both players are back for the Bulldogs in 2013-14. Photo By C.T. Kruger

Nov. 26, 2013

The athleticism and talent are certainly there for the West Allis Central boys basketball team, and this year, the chemistry appears to be stronger.

Central struggled to a 10-14 overall record in 2012-13, including just 4-10 in the Greater Metro Conference for sixth place.

That season followed the glorious run of 2011-12, in which the Bulldogs won the GMC championship and posted a 19-5 overall mark.

Head coach Dave Mlachnik is hoping the fortunes of this year's group can be closer to those of two seasons ago.

"I think the chemistry is better this season," Mlachnik said. "The kids did a lot of work in the off-season. It's a tight group, and I see more maturity on and off the court."

Central is led by 6-foot junior guard Brandon Key, who averaged 14 points and six assists last season and was named to the all-conference second team.

Also back are 6-0 senior guard Ron Turkvan, who scored 10 points per game, and 6-4 senior forward Jaquan Martin, who pulled down about nine rebounds per outing. Both made all-GMC honorable mention last season.

Other returning lettermen are 6-1 junior forward Jerome Cummings, 6-0 junior guard David Mlachnik, 6-0 senior guard Keith Leavy, 6-3 senior forward Danny Koefler and 6-0 junior guard Tyler Maten.

Central opened the season with a 63-36 romp over New Berlin West on Nov. 19 behind 22 points from Turkvan, 14 from Key and six apiece by Cummings and 6-3 senior forward Austin Block.

The Bulldogs were up 25-19 at the half but outscored the Vikings 38-17 after that to take control.

The victory could have been even easier but Central hit just 4 of 19 free throws on the night.

"They are actually good free throw shooters," said Mlachnik, who added that free throws were the focus of the next day's practice.

The Bulldogs visit Arrowhead at 7 p.m. Nov. 30, then travel to Kenosha Indian Trail at 7:15 p.m. Dec. 3.

The opening GMC contest is Dec. 13 at home against Brookfield East.

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