The 2015-16 girls basketball season contained some highlights for the West Allis Hale squad.
The Huskies posted their first 10-victory season since 2002-03 and their most triumphs in the Greater Metro Conference (four) since 2005-06.
A late-season slide cost them a chance at a .500 record, but they still finished a respectable 10-13 and hope to build on that in future seasons.
The Whitnall girls also enjoyed a double-digit victory season at 13-11 overall. Greenfield won eight games and was competitive in many more, and West Allis Central wound up with four triumphs but did win a WIAA Division 1 playoff contest.
Here is a look at the area teams and their seasons.
West Allis Hale
Coach George Sotiros feels that with a few more made shots or breaks, the Huskies would have topped the 10 victories.
'We were possessions away from a bust-out season, as eight of our losses were by single digits, and we showed we could play with anyone, even with our youth,' Sotiros said.
The Huskies were led by senior guard Sam Schuh, who averaged 16.3 points and four rebounds this season and made second-team all-conference.
Her most memorable effort came in a game against Menomonee Falls in which she collected 36 points and hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer.
Sophomore guard Alyssa Cruz averaged 8.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists, which led the GMC, and she was given high honorable-mention all-conference.
'Her ability to create is one of the biggest reasons for our turnaround,' Sotiros said.
Junior post Ashley Levack averaged 6.5 points and 5.7 rebounds in giving Hale a solid inside presence. She earned honorable-mention all-conference.
'She got better as the season progressed and ended with double-doubles a couple of times,' the coach said.
Hale also had four GMC senior scholar-athletes in Schuh, Katie Sotiros, Gia Johnson and Dempsey O'Brien. Sotiros, Johnson and Schuh were also team captains.
Those are the Huskies' only four seniors, so players such as Cruz, Levack, guard Zoe Burczyk, forward Abby Arena and forward KellyAnn Sotiros will be back next season. In addition, the Hale freshman team was 18-4.
Inconsistency plagued the Falcons, who alternated winning and losing streaks all season.
'We had a 4-0 start; then we lost three in a row and won three in a row,' coach Keith Larson said. 'It was like that all year. We would play some decent games; then it would turn a bit. The good thing is we always bounced back. With some teams, a four-game losing streak can easily turn into six or seven.'
The primary source of the ups and downs was shooting. The Falcons had some games where they were connecting on their shots, but many others where they were ice cold from the floor, Larson said.
Their leader was junior wing Sierra Grubor, who averaged 14.8 points to place second in the Woodland Conference East Division behind only Jada Stackhouse of Shorewood.
Grubor also averaged 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.2 assists in earning a unanimous selection to the all-division first team for the second straight season.
Senior post Kendall Stribling made the all-division second team, and senior post Madeline Pelkofer and junior post Jaden Kelley each earned honorable-mention all-division. Kelley averaged 8.8 points and Stribling 7.4.
The Falcons will lose seniors Stribling, Pelkofer, Ana Haning, Jenna Jones and Kaitlyn Burakowski but will build next season around Grubor, Kelley and some other players with extensive varsity experience.
'We will turn the page and look forward,' Larson said. 'We are excited about our new group. We have a good nucleus of young players.'
The Hustlin' Hawks experienced their ups and downs as well, finishing 8-15 overall, but provided some hope for the future.
Their top scorer was freshman guard Emma Graetz at 11.8 points per game, and not far behind was freshman post Ratka Karac at 8.9 points per contest.
Maggie Tooley, a senior guard, added 7.5 points per outing.
The Hawks stood at 6-6 this season but stumbled down the stretch, losing seven of eight.
Greenfield loses seniors Tooley, guard Haley Bartoshevich, forward Abby Winski, forward Maria Montemayor and guard Josephine Koutnik but will bring back Graetz and Karac for what should be a strong one-two punch next season.
West Allis Central
The start of the season was fine for the Bulldogs, who won their first three games.
Tough times followed, though, and Central wound up 4-20 for the campaign.
The leading scorer was junior Nikita Conroy at 14.5 points per game, and she really came on late in the season with several big outings. Sophomore Antoinette Powell tallied 7 points per contest.
The graduation loss will be heavy, with Theodora Reed, Bailey Young, Mary Martens, Michaiah Jones-Cogwell, Shiama Rouse, Kayla McBeth, Precious Phipps-Collins, Mekell Perry and Jala Allen all bidding farewell to the program.