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Early in the second half, West Allis Hale and Greenfield were tied at 24-24 in a WIAA Division 1 regional girls basketball game on Feb. 24.

A few minutes and four 3-point field goals later, the Huskies held a 41-24 advantage and were well on their way to a 53-31 triumph over the Hustlin' Hawks.

That 17-0 run, sparked by a pair of 3-point field goals from Zoe Burczyk and one each by Lexi Sevedge and Alyssa Cruz, boosted the Huskies to 11-12 on the season. Greenfield finished the season at 8-14.

Hale coach George Sotiros was happy to have his team advance but was also pleased the Huskies topped last year's victory total of 10, marking the fifth straight season they have increased their number of triumphs.

Sotiros added this was Hale's first home playoff game since 2005 and its first home playoff victory since 2003.

"I'm proud of the girls," he said. "There wasn't one (lopsided) game this season. We figured with about six possessions (going the other way), we would have been 16-6. It's been fun. It's been good basketball. It's all the girls, working hard."

The game turned on that one big run in the second half.

Greenfield's Morgan Lesieur scored off an assist from Ratka Karac to tie the game at 23-23 in the opening minute of the half; then both sides hit one free throw to make it 24-24, and it appeared that the game could go down to the final minutes.

KellyAnn Sotiros connected on a shot to put Hale back up by 2 points; then Burczyk nailed consecutive 3-pointers from the top of the key and the right corner to put the Huskies up 32-24.

Burczyk then took a pass from Cruz to complete her personal 8-point run and build the lead to 34-24.

"I was just thinking of my teammates," said Burczyk, who paced Hale with 13 points. "I knew we had to pull ahead, so I took some more looks and got open."

Coach Sotiros said Burczyk had come through at crucial times before.

"All year, we've had different kids step up," he said. "Zoe has stepped up many times, and she got a little ticked off at (her defender) because they were battling."

Abby Arena hit one free throw; then Sevedge connected on a 3-point shot, and Cruz followed with another on a line drive from the left wing, and suddenly, it was 41-24. Greenfield never came closer than 16 points the rest of the way and managed only 10 second-half points.

"We just could not put the ball in the bucket," Greenfield coach Rob Graetz said. "We weren't executing the plays very well, and when you score 10 points in the second half, it's hard to stay in the game. They (the Huskies) had a good intense defense, but we just weren't screening well and weren't running the plays very well. They stepped up their intensity, and we didn't match it."

The first half was close much of the way, with Hale bolting to a 10-3 lead but Greenfield hanging tough behind 10 quick points from Sophia Valero, who finished as the Hawks' leading scorer with that total.

An inside basket by Karac brought the Hawks within 23-21 at the half, and they went on to tie the game, but then Hale used its 17-point run to take control.

Sevedge finished with 11 points and Cruz 8 for the Huskies and Karac 5 points for Greenfield.

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