The Brookfield Central girls had to delay their celebration for clinching the Greater Metro Conference Championship outright, after a lackluster performance in a 44-31 road loss Friday at West Allis Central.
The Lancers, leading the conference with an 11-1 record, host third-place Menomonee Falls (8-3, 11-8) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. If they can't beat the Indians, a team they destroyed 63-35 on Jan. 21 on the road, they will close out the season at last-place Wauwatosa East (1-11, 3-17), a team they whipped, 62-24, on Jan. 25.
The Bulldogs (10-3, 15-5) have one GMC game left, at Divine Savior Holy Angels (8-4, 9-10) on Friday, against a team that nipped them the first time around, 49-48, at Central.
Against the Lancers on Friday, the Bulldogs jumped off to a 10-2 lead in the first quarter and expanded it to 27-11 at intermission, as the Lancers couldn't make a basket and even missed seven layups.
The Bulldogs defense was excellent, building a 17-point lead several times, as star Mehryn Kraker tossed in 19 points to lead all scorers. Janie Myles added 12 points, despite being in foul trouble most of the night.
"I thought that was a big thing offensively in the first half, limiting them to one shot," Bulldogs coach Dave Mlachnik said. "That's what we did. The biggest thing we did defensively was the rebounding."
The Lancers did rally in the second half, cutting the lead to 37-30 with 4:10 left to play.
Trailing 35-20 with 51.6 left in the third quarter, the Lancers went on a 10-2 run behind six points from Anna Liewen and four from Valarierose Agnello, but WAC closed with a 7-0 run.
Agnello and Liewen had 14 and 12 points, respectively, but got little support from the rest of the team in the scoring column.
The win for the Bulldogs was their first against the Lancers since Jan 28, 2005, as they snapped a 12-game losing streak (counting one playoff game).
The Generals (13-5, 9-1) of the Milwaukee City Conference beat the Lancers, 62-54, as King killed Central with seven 3-pointers.
Agnello was outstanding for the Lancers, scoring a career-high 27 points. Central fell one point short of tying the school mark for points in a quarter when the Lancers closed out 26.
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