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A strong defensive effort helped boost the West Allis Central boys basketball team to a 50-43 victory over Menomonee Falls on Jan. 12.

The Bulldogs posted their lowest total of points allowed in a Greater Metro Conference game this season and, not coincidentally, notched their second victory in league play.

'We played well in that game,' coach Dave Mlachnik said. 'We followed the game plan, and we did well defensively. We are starting to do the little things and are paying more attention to detail, such as being in the right spot defensively and reversing the ball on offense.'

Central also had a balanced effort, with Tony Thomas tallying 10 points; Deveron Hierrezuelo and Kurt Mlachnik 9 points apiece; and Griffin Johnson and Jared Welsch 7 points each. Hierrezuelo hit a trio of 3-point field goals and Mlachnik a pair of 3-pointers.

Paysharne Jelks collected six rebounds and seven assists and Brent Hunter seven rebounds for the Bulldogs, who held Falls to 17 points in the first half.

The Bulldogs came back with another solid effort on Jan. 15 against Wauwatosa East but fell short, 62-53, to the resurgent Red Raiders.

'In the first half (which ended in a 28-28 tie), we played well,' coach Mlachnik said, 'but in the second half, we reverted back to our old ways a bit. We had a lapse, and East took advantage of it.'

Hierrezuelo tallied 16 points with two 3-pointers; Montae Blakely 12 points and seven rebounds; and Thomas 8 points. Jelks pulled down seven rebounds as well for the Bulldogs, who were outshot, 26-7, from the free-throw line.

Central moved to 2-4 in the GMC and 5-8 overall. The Bulldogs will take on rival West Allis Hale (3-3 in the GMC, 8-5 overall) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, at Hale. This is the first meeting between the two this season.

The Bulldogs next play at 7:30 Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Sussex Hamilton, trying to avenge a 63-47 defeat in the GMC opener in December.