West Allis Hale girls basketball coach George Sotiros likes the effort of his team this season, but now he wants to see it pay off in victories.
The Huskies battled hard all the way in both their games last week, and they showed plenty of promise, but they wound up with losses of 69-61 to Divine Savior Holy Angels on Jan. 15 and 72-64 to Wauwatosa East on Jan. 12.
'We are so very close to getting over that hump,' said Sotiros, whose team moved to 2-5 in the Greater Metro Conference and 7-7 overall. 'When (the game) comes down to a rebound here and there or a shot falling late in the game, you can really tell how far we've come in our fourth year (under Sotiros).
'We aren't done yet, nor have we gotten to where we want to be, but for a young program, we are happy with the girls and their efforts.'
Huskies stay with DSHA
Hale stuck with powerful DSHA, the defending WIAA Division 1 state champion and a power again this season.
The Huskies trailed, 36-30, at the half and then took a 41-40 lead early in the second half on two free throws from KellyAnn Sotiros, who finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Hale did not hit enough shots down the stretch to win but played what coach Sotiros said was its best game of the season.
'We have not had success against DSHA in many years, so it was thrilling to compete for an entire game, and it was another sign for the girls that their hard work in practice is paying off,' the coach said.
Sam Schuh led the Huskies with 20 points despite playing with severe leg cramps, and Alyssa Cruz tallied 10 points and seven assists.
Zoe Burczyk totaled 9 points and three assists; Ashley Levack 9 points and five rebounds; and Abby Arena six rebounds for the Huskies, who committed only eight turnovers and hit 21-of-26 free throws.
In the Wauwatosa East game, Sotiros collected a game-high 16 points on 8-for-13 shooting, with 15 rebounds, five assists, two steals and one blocked shot.
'She had been struggling to find her rhythm the last few games offensively,' coach Sotiros said, 'but she really came back strong. We've wanted her to be more aggressive offensively, and she is learning how to do that.'
Cruz also scored 16 points, including 7-of-9 free throws, and added five assists and two steals.
'Alyssa is a dynamic player, and when she figures out how to be consistent controlling the ball and reducing turnovers, it is really going to be fun to watch her run the floor for us,' the coach said.
Schuh notched 14 points, Burczyk 9 points and Levack 7 points.
Central up next
The Huskies play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at West Allis Central. The schools are not having a boys-girls doubleheader, as in recent seasons, but the teams are playing on consecutive nights at two different sites.
Hale then takes on Brookfield East at 7:30 Tuesday, Jan. 26, at East, hoping to avenge a 72-67 defeat to the Spartans earlier this season.