A late rally from as much as a 21-point deficit fell short for the West Allis Hale girls basketball team in a 60-51 loss to Brookfield Central on Jan. 6.

The Huskies were cold from the field early, falling behind 9-0 and 26-5, and they steadied somewhat but still found themselves down, 34-18, at halftime.

A 3-point field goal by Central made it 37-18; then the Huskies began their comeback, using a 1-3-1 trapping defense to force 16 second-half turnovers.

Catherine Gerschwiler hit some key shots, and KellyAnn Sotiros was strong on the boards as Hale crept within 39-37 with 9 minutes, 30 seconds remaining.

"I was extremely impressed with the defensive efforts of the team," coach George Sotiros said. "We kept focusing and challenging the girls to play one possession at a time, not worrying about the scoreboard, and they did just that."

Hale tied the game at 39-39 before the Lancers opened up a 45-39 advantage with 7:19 left, but the Huskies were not done.

Sotiros led another charge and connected on two free throws to trim the deficit to 52-51 with 1:33 remaining.

The Huskies did not score after that, and Central hit crucial free throws the rest of the way to prevail.

Alyssa Cruz led the way with 23 points, including five 3-pointers.

"It was fantastic to see Alyssa have some success outside, as she has worked hard on her shooting, and it paid off in this game," coach Sotiros said.

KellyAnn Sotiros finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds and Gerschwiler 8 points.

Hale moved to 1-3 in the Greater Metro Conference and 7-4 overall. The Huskies are in action at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, at Divine Savior Holy Angels and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, at South Milwaukee.