After hitting a rough patch in which it lost seven of nine, New Berlin West's boys basketball team needed to experience the success it found last weekend.
The Vikings began last week with a 73-51 loss to Pius XI on Jan. 24 before recording wins in consecutive days, claiming a 59-54 win over South Milwaukee on Jan. 27 and a 62-61 victory over Holmen on Jan. 28 in a nonconference game held at Just A Game Fieldhouse in Wisconsin Dells.
With the pair of wins, New Berlin West improved to 6-8 on the season, already giving the Vikings their most wins in a season since 2012-13 with eight regular season games still to play.
"It was great to get back in the win column, as the Woodland West is no joke this year and we're coming off one of our tougher stretches in our schedule," West coach Brandon Mattox said. "It was good to have a solid two days. We'll look to keep that momentum going this week."
New Berlin West hung with Pius XI in the first half and trailed by just 5 points at the break, 29-24. The Popes pulled away over the final 18 minutes, outscoring the Vikings, 44-27, in the second half.
Senior forward Fred Cottrell led the Vikings with 15 points. Senior forward Matt Obradovich scored 7 points with eight rebounds, junior guard David Nenning had 8 points, and senior guard Zach White chipped in with 6 points, five rebounds and three assists.
The Vikings snapped their three-game losing streak with a 59-54 win over South Milwaukee on Jan. 27, collecting their second conference win of the season in the process.
With the game tied at 31-31 at halftime, New Berlin West outscored the Rockets, 28-23, in the second half to come away with the victory. Senior forward Hunter Pipik scored 16 points with six rebounds in the win. Cottrell added 12 points and 11 rebounds, junior forward Austin Obradovich had 7 points and junior forward Tyler Torosian scored 6 points.
"We knew that South Milwaukee was going to play and compete, and they lived up to that," Mattox said. "I was really impressed with them, especially with them missing a few pieces. We were able to settle in during the second half and get into a rhythm."
In a back-and-forth battle with Holmen, New Berlin West led at half, 32-27.
Eight different players scored for the Vikings, including four in double figures. Freshman guard Desmond Polk led New Berlin West with 15 points, while Cottrell and White each had 13 points and Pipik added 10 points.
"While we play four seniors, we don't have a ton of experience in pulling close games out, so this was huge for us," Mattox said. "Fred Cottrell really stepped up with a double-double and getting others involved. We really did a good job of sharing the ball. Pipik, White, Polk, Cottrell added in the scoring but we were able to get production off the bench from guys like Torosian and DeLuca. We pulled that game out defensively and with some big rebounds down the stretch."
The Vikings were slated to play at Shorewood (2-10, 1-8 Woodland East) on Jan. 31. New Berlin West will return home to host Greenfield (9-6, 6-4 Woodland East) at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3.
New Berlin West continues to play without second-leading scorer and point guard Joe Robey, who has missed the Vikings last five games with a leg injury.
"Obviously, we miss Joe Robey a great deal and we're ready for him to come back," Mattox said. "We're all proud of Desmond Polk stepping and playing a position he hadn't previously. We're currently starting four seniors and a freshman, so our seniors have done a great job of stepping up in Robey's absence and leading the freshman."