Patience on offense paid off in a big way for the West Allis Hale girls basketball team in a 66-39 victory over rival West Allis Central on Dec. 2.
The Huskies collected 21 assists and had six girls score at least 7 points in downing the Bulldogs in the Greater Metro Conference opener for both squads.
"The girls are truly learning that if we play with composure and have patience moving the ball and sharing it, we have a better chance to win," Hale coach George Sotiros said. "West Allis Central played most of the game in a 2-3 zone, which in the past has caused us a lot of trouble. In years past, we would not have the ball movement or patience to handle zones, but this year has been different.
"We have a lot more weapons on offense, and the girls know not only can we make teams work harder on defense if we share the ball, but our shooting percentage is much better if we work for good looks."
The Huskies shot 26-of-52 (50 percent) from the floor, including 4-of-10 from 3-point territory.
Cruz leads the way
Point guard Alyssa Cruz tallied 14 points, hitting 5-of-8 from the field, and seven assists. Zoe Burczyk totaled 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting, Ashley Levack and Abby Arena 8 points apiece; KellyAnn Sotiros 7 points, seven rebounds and five assists; and Linda Hensel 7 points.
Hensel also took four charges and Cruz one for a season-high team total of five.
"We have stressed this year we have to be in proper position to be able to take a charge, and they were absolute game-changers and motivated this team," coach Sotiros said.
For Central, Nikita Conroy poured in a game-high 31 points with 7-of-7 free throw shooting and a pair of 3-point shots along the way.
Hale jumped to a 19-5 lead with 10 minutes, 26 seconds left in the first half and had already notched seven assists at that point. The Huskies were up 31-21 at the half and then took a 59-37 advantage with 3 minutes left in the game.
Central was coming off its first victory of the season, a 65-39 romp over Milwaukee Ronald Reagan on Nov. 29. Conroy again led the way with 36 points, including 10 2-point field goals, seven free throws and a trio of 3-pointers.
Taziya Taylor added 12 points for the Bulldogs, who led 32-18 at the half and then tallied 33 more points in the second half.
Hale falls to Whitnall
The Huskies also played on Nov. 29, dropping a 58-48 decision to Whitnall at home. They hit just 29 percent from floor (18-of-62) and collected only 10 assists against 23 turnovers.
Abi Stevens led with 12 points and Burczyk added 9 points for the Huskies, who were also hurt when Sotiros and Cruz committed three first-half fouls.
Hale bolted to a 16-6 lead, but Whitnall trimmed it to 20-19 late in the first half. The Huskies were still up 30-27 at the half but were outscored, 31-18, after the intermission.
Both the Huskies and Bulldogs have busy slates this coming week. Central takes on Sussex Hamilton at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at the field house and Brookfield East at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, also at home.
The Huskies meet Brookfield East at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Menomonee Falls at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, with both games on the road.