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The offense remained in a groove for the West Allis Central boys basketball team in a split of its own holiday tournament last week.

The Bulldogs dropped Hartford, 67-36, on Dec. 28 after being edged by Franklin, 69-67, in overtime on Dec. 27.

Central has scored more than 60 points in four straight games after topping off at 52 in the previous four contests this season.

"We are getting into more of a flow on offense," coach Dave Mlachnik said. "Our guards are hitting more of their shots."

The Bulldogs had balanced scoring in the rout of Hartford, with Deonte Vanselow totaling 12 points, Jared Welsch 9 points, Jacob Fierst 8 points and Noah Semb-Lovejoy 7 points. Griffin Johnson pulled down 10 rebounds, and Kurt Mlachnik dished out six assists.

Central built a 29-14 halftime lead before turning up the offense even more in the second half to win easily and improve to 3-5 overall.

The Bulldogs found themselves in a tight battle with improving Franklin in the first game of the tournament one day earlier. The game was tied at 58-58, and Central had a chance to win but missed two free throws with three seconds left.

The teams went back and forth in the overtime, with both hitting 3-point field goals early and Montae Blakely connecting on a jumper to tie it at 67-67 with seven seconds left. The Sabers then hit a game-winning shot with two seconds remaining, and the video of the shot eventually wound up on the Wissports website.

Central tried a long pass toward the basket, but the shot was missed at the buzzer.

Welsch led the way with 14 points and collected eight rebounds, Blakely put in 12 points and Johnson 11 points.

"Johnson has played particularly well in the last two games," Mlachnik said.

Kurt Mlachnik played a solid all-around game with three rebounds, four assists and three steals to go with 7 points.

The Bulldogs will take an 0-3 Greater Metro Conference mark into a game at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, at home against Marquette. They will then meet high-powered Menomonee Falls, which has topped the 100-point mark on several occasions this season, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, also at home.

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