West Allis - The defense sparkled and the offense showed potential as the West Allis Hale boys basketball team routed Cudahy, 58-23, in its 2012-13 season opener on Friday night.
"We played a very nice ballgame," said John Palesse, who was making his debut as Hale head coach. "(The kids) played hard, played smart and most importantly, played together. Our defense was very good and we rebounded pretty well."
The Huskies held a slim 13-8 lead after one quarter but blew open the contest with a 21-7 second period for a 34-15 halftime advantage. They then removed any doubt with a 16-4 third quarter.
Travis Balcerzak led the way with 16 points, while Noel Crabtree added 11 points, including a trio of 3-point field goals. Derrick Waller put in nine points.
"We were pleased to see the players do the things we worked on in practice, such as sharing the basketball and good help-side defense with a willingness to take charges," Palesse said. "Even though we didn't shoot the way we would have liked, we did some nice things on offense."
Palesse knows that much bigger challenges await the Huskies as the season progresses.
"It was a good start," he said, "but we have a lot of work to do, and it is only going to get tougher from here. From what I have seen so far, I am confident that our guys will continue to work very hard to get better."
The Huskies are now off until Nov. 30, when they visit Oak Creek.
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