For much of a WIAA Division 1 regional game on March 4, the West Allis Hale boys basketball team more than held its own against perennial power Milwaukee King.
The Huskies were up 35-33 at the half and led by 10 points early in the second half before the Generals rallied and pulled out a 72-68 victory.
'This was tournament basketball at its best, a high-intensity game from beginning to end,' Hale coach John Palesse said. 'We had guys putting their bodies on the line in an effort to win. Losing hurts, but as a coach, all you can ask is that the players empty their tanks in order to get a win, and that is what we got.'
The Huskies battled foul trouble in the second half, with Rich Haertel picking up his third and fourth fouls early and Gregg Nelson fouling out with about six minutes remaining.
The game went back and forth, but King's Jordan Poole, a Division 1 recruit, hit some crucial shots down the stretch to provide the difference.
Ryan Haertel paced the Huskies with 23 points and six rebounds while making Poole work hard for his 22 points (22 shots). Devonte Patterson collected 13 points, six assists and six rebounds; Nelson 9 points and four rebounds; and Rich Haertel 11 points and five rebounds.
Hale netted 11 shots from 3-point range, led by Ryan Haertel with five and Rich Haertel with three.
Hale finishes the season at 12-11, struggling down the stretch after a hot start to the campaign.