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Muskego girls basketball

After dropping a 57-46 loss to state-ranked Mukwonago on Jan. 31, Muskego's girls basketball team bounced back to grab its fourth conference win of the season a 52-41 victory over Catholic Memorial on Feb. 3.

Muskego held a 28-20 advantage of Catholic Memorial at halftime en route to an 11-point win, which pushed the Warriors to 11-8 overall and into fifth place in the Classic 8 at 4-7 in league play.

"It was a good win against CMH as they have really improved as the year has gone on," Muskego coach Brian Hirtz said. "We were able to spread our offense out and create scoring opportunities for ourselves that way as well as putting pressure on CMH and causing numerous turnovers."

Freshman guard Savanah Balcerak led Muskego with 15 points, while junior guard Maddy Harrison finished with 12 points. Sophomore forward Kenni Czarnecki scored 9 points, and sophomore guard Kenzie Balcerak had 7 points.

"Savanah played a great game for us in all phases, scoring, rebounding and defensively," Hirtz said. "She was aggressive and hustling all game and was a big key in the victory.  Kenzie Balcerak has also played great minutes for us lately, and she is finally healthy, and we are looking for good things for her down the stretch."

A tough first half was too much for the Warriors to overcome against Mukwonago, the third-ranked team in the Division 1 coaches poll, on Jan. 31.

Muskego outscored the Indians, 31-27, in the second half, but a 30-15 halftime deficit still left the Warriors with a 57-46 loss.

Senior forward Leah Bolskar led Muskego with 12 points, four rebounds and six steals. Junior guard Sarah Anderson finished with 11 points, and Kenzie Balcerak had seven points, five rebounds and five steals.

The Warriors shot just 23.2 percent (16-for-69), including a 7-for-31 mark (22.6 percent) from beyond the 3-point line. Muskego outrebounded Mukwonago, 40-38, including 28 offensive rebounds, and forced 33 turnovers.

'We struggled to score the basketball against Mukwonago early in the game, and it really hurt us," Hirtz said. "We played great pressure defense in the second half and cut the lead down to six points but a lot of missed free throws that cost us the chance to win the game. It was a great effort against a really good basketball team."

Muskego was slated to play at Kettle Moraine (12-6, 9-2 Classic 8) on Feb. 7 before returning home to host Waukesha South (8-11, 3-8) at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10.

New Berlin West boys basketball

New Berlin West's boys basketball team split a pair of games last week, coming away with an 82-72 win over Shorewood on Jan. 31 before having its three-game win streak snapped with a 63-61 loss to Greenfield on Feb. 3.

By going 1-1, the Vikings moved their record to 7-9 overall and 3-9 in the Woodland West.

Led by 27 points from freshman guard Desmond Polk, the Vikings won their third consecutive game by downing Shorewood. Polk went 8-of-15 from the field, connecting on 6 of 9 attempts from distance.

"He's made tremendous gains from the start of the year, and he's starting to assert himself on both ends of the floor," West coach Brandon Mattox said of Polk. "It's been awesome to watch him grow and develop confidence, all while his teammates are encouraging him. He's becoming more vocal for us."

New Berlin West overcame a 38-35 halftime deficit by outscoring the Greyhounds, 47-34, in the second half.

Senior forward Hunter Pipik scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Senior forward Fred Cottrell added 14 points, six rebounds and nine assists, junior guard Mason Church scored 12 points and senior guard Zach White pulled down eight rebounds.

"We buckled down defensively," Mattox said. "(Mikael) Green (21 points) is a heck of a player for them. We wanted to put him in a position to take tough shots. We knew he would score, but we had to make it difficult for him. That put a lot of pressure on Polk, Cottrell and White as they all took turns guarding him.

"Offensively, we found some rhythm shooting the ball. Fred was really able to attack the basket and find teammates for good looks. Mason Church came off the bench and really provided a spark for us; he was able to find some gaps in their zone and knock down some big shots for us."

The Vikings shot 49.2 percent (30-for-61), including hitting 11 3-pointers, and had 20 assists on their 30 made field goals.

A poor first half cost New Berlin West against Greenfield, as the Hustlin' Hawks ran out to a 36-17 halftime lead. The Vikings fought back in the second half, outscoring Greenfield, 44-27, but came up just short.

"Early on it was if there was a lid on the rim," Mattox said. "That messed with our confidence a bit. Halftime was not a lot of yelling or criticism; it was more about finding our confidence and rallying together. Although we lost, one or two seasons ago that game would have gotten out of hand, and we would have lost by 35-40 points. So for us to answer and meet the challenge, I couldn't be more proud of our group."

Cottrell scored 19 points to pace the Vikings. Pipik recorded a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds; Polk had 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals; and junior forward Tyler Torosian had 7 points and seven rebounds.

New Berlin West was scheduled to play at Pewaukee (16-2, 11-1 Woodland West) on Feb. 7 and will travel to Tosa West to face the Trojans (9-8, 5-6) at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10.

New Berlin Marlins boys swimming

New Berlin's boys swimming and diving team took third place at the Woodland Conference Championships on Feb. 4 at Greenfield High School.

Greenfield/Greendale/Pius XI won the 10-team meet with 447 points, followed by Wauwatosa with 403.5 points and then the Marlins with 317 points.

Senior Dane Detert earned New Berlin's top individual finish by placing second in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.18 seconds. He also claimed fifth in the 100 freestyle in 51.97 seconds.

Ian Gatzke took fifth in the 500 freestyle in 5:08.82, Evan Grubis was fifth in the 100 backstroke in 1:05.09, Nick Landstrom earned fifth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.08 and Nicholas Dorshack placed fifth in the 1-meter dive with a score of 256.05.

The relay team of Kevin Adams, Detert, Matt Thomas and Gatzke took second in the 200 freestyle in 1:33.53 and third in the 400 freestyle in 3:29.76.

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