Up-and-down shooting and the lack of a consistent third scorer hurt the Whitnall girls basketball team this past season.
"When we lost, we shot less than 25 percent (from the field)," coach Keith Larson said. "That's not going to win you many games. Because of that, we had a tendency that when we fell behind, it was an uphill battle to come back. It was tough to get back on track."
The Falcons finished 12-11 for the season, including 7-9 in the Woodland Conference. They won seven straight at one point but then followed with a 1-6 stretch.
"We had an up-and-down, streaky season," Larson continued. "For the most part, we played fairly well, and the girls remained upbeat through the whole season."
Inconsistency hampered all three area girls teams this season, with West Allis Hale finishing 11-13, Greenfield coming in at 8-14 and West Allis Central posting a 4-20 mark.
Here is a look back at their seasons.
Despite the team's struggles at times, senior forward Sierra Grubor enjoyed a fine season, averaging 18.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and three steals in earning Woodland East Division Player of the Year honors.
She set school records for career points (1,185) and season points (431).
"You always look at her scoring," Larson said, "but the other parts of her game are strong as well."
Senior post Jaden Kelley averaged 12.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 2.3 assists in making the all-division second team.
"Jaden improved each season to become our only true inside scoring threat," Larson said, "and she was a team leader and helped mentor our six sophomores."
The problem for Whitnall was that no one else approached that level for scoring, although senior guard Jessica Knackert did earn honorable mention all-division because of her all-around game. She was always among the team leaders in assists and steals.
The Falcons will lose seniors Knackert, Grubor, Kelley, Alexis Navarette, Abby Franckowiak and Sam Benzinger, so some rebuilding will be in order next season.
West Allis Hale
Coach George Sotiros found many positives for the Huskies' season.
"We had our most victories since the 2002-03 season, our first home playoff game since 2005-06 and our first home playoff victory since 2002-03," he said. "We beat one of the top four (Greater Metro) Conference programs (Brookfield East) for the first time in many years. We were 7-1 in nonconference, and we posted more victories than the previous year for the fifth consecutive season."
Hale also scored more points than it allowed for the first time since 2002-03, reducing points allowed from 60.2 per game to 51. The Huskies improved in shooting percentage, assists (305 this season) and steals (252), and they reduced their turnovers.
Hale had a balanced attack featuring junior guard Alyssa Cruz (8.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game) and junior forward KellyAnn Sotiros (8.4 points, nine rebounds and two assists per contest). Sotiros earned second-team all-GMC honors and Cruz honorable mention.
The offensive player of the year was Zoe Burczyk, the defensive player of the year was Sotiros, the most improved player was Cruz and the top newcomer Abi Stevens. The coaches' award went to Lexi Sevedge, the hustle award to Julie Palesse and the captains were Palesse, Sevedge and Sotiros.
The Huskies lose seniors Palesse, Sevedge, Linda Hensel and Ashley Levack but will return all five starters.
The Hustlin' Hawks were paced by a pair of sophomores, Ratka Karac at 12.2 points per game and Emma Graetz at 10.8 per contest. Graetz missed part of the season with an injury.
Junior Sophia Valero averaged 10 points and led the team with 20 3-point field goals, and sophomore Morgan Lesieur put in 6.1 points per game.
The lone seniors are Morgan Fularczyk and Olivia Faleta, so coach Rob Graetz will have plenty to work with next season.
West Allis Central
The Bulldogs were led by one of the better scorers in the area in Nikita Conroy at 22 points per game, with 42 3-point field goals.
Antoinette Powell added 13.2 points per game to give the Bulldogs a strong one-two punch, but the next-highest scorer was only at 6.1 points per outing.
Central did play more competitively for the most part in the rugged Greater Metro Conference but could not pull out any victories.