An evening filled with pathos and tears ended on a positive note for the West Allis Hale boys basketball team on Friday.
The Huskies honored the family of Colton Ustruck, 4, of West Allis, who has Batten disease, a neurological disorder that is terminal.
Colton was announced as the sixth starter for the Huskies in Hale's version of Make-a-Wish for the Ustruck family, which has already lost another son to this same disease.
"It was a night of mixed emotions," Hale head coach John Palesse said. "I was crying before the game as (Colton) was introduced, and our announcer had trouble getting through the explanation of what Colton was going through.
"This was a special night which will provide many lasting memories for all involved, especially for the Ustruck family, which has been going through so much."
The Huskies, backed by a large crowd, then went out and beat Brookfield East 58-52.
Joey Archer collected 24 points, five rebounds and four assists, coming up with a series of big shots late in the contest, Palesse said.
Kyle Czubakowski added nine points and 10 rebounds, including a clutch 3-point goal to put Hale up late in the game.
Jason Palesse chipped in with seven points and seven assists and Nate Walker tallied eight points, with both connecting on big baskets down the stretch, the coach said.
The victory boosted the Huskies to 3-7 in the Greater Metro Conference and 7-11 overall. They beat East for the second time this season.
After the victory, though, coach Palesse reflected on the true meaning of the night.
"I was happy for our guys for the win, but more importantly, I was so proud of our team, our families and the Husky community for showing support for a family in need," he said. "The family was very appreciative of the support."
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