There's little doubt Caroline Busch will go down as one of the best players in the history of Brookfield Central girls basketball, but now she has a milestone to cement her place among the Lancers greats.
Busch became the second player in program history to reach 1,000 career points during Brookfield Central's 60-51 victory over West Allis Hale on Jan. 6.
"Caroline reaching 1,000 points is a fantastic accomplishment," Brookfield Central coach Mallory Liebl said. "It is a testament to her hard work throughout her career. It means a lot to Caroline to achieve this and make her mark in Brookfield Central girls basketball program history.
"With the tradition of success in our program for so many years and the amount of talented players that have had tremendous careers, it says a lot about the career Caroline has had to rank among the top in scoring."
Already the program's second-leading scorer, Busch scored 19 points against the Huskies to move her career total to 1,014, 204 points behind Kelly Svetz, who graduated in 1997 with 1,218 points.
Busch, who averages 16.4 points per game, is on pace to pass Svetz by the end of the regular season.
"Busch is just an outstanding player and plays the game right," Hale coach George Sotiros said. "It is tough to compete against a great player like that, and she has handled things incredibly well given the injuries Brookfield Central has had this season. Credit to her on a great career."
A big first half allowed the Lancers to hold on against Hale for their second-straight win. Brookfield Central started the game up 26-5 and led 34-18 at halftime.
"We started out the game following and executing our game plan perfectly," Liebl said. "Our girls came out ready to play from the tip. We did a really great job sharing the ball and got a lot of girls scoring. In the first half, our defense was fantastic, we held them well below their scoring average and we took advantage of the turnovers we were forcing to take a big lead into halftime.
Hale switched to an aggressive 1-3-1 trapping defense late in the first half and used 16 second-half turnovers by Brookfield Central to get back into the game. The Huskies used a 19-2 run to pull to within 39-37 with 9:30 to play.
Brookfield Central pulled in front 45-39, but Hale cut it to 52-51 with 1:33 left. The Lancers scored a big bucket to go up 54-51 and hit free throws down the stretch to hold on.
Freshman Anna Mortag scored 16 points for the Lancers. Senior guard Amanda Miller finished with a career-high 12 points and senior forward Ellery Nordling added 10 points.
"Hale is a really well-coached team and they did a good job of adjusting," Liebl said. "They capitalized on our mistakes. Our girls did a good job of making enough plays to put ourselves in the position to win the game and we were able to finish."
The win moved Brookfield Central to 4-5 overall and 2-2 in the Greater Metro. Sussex Hamilton leads the conference at 4-0, followed by DSHA at 3-1, Brookfield East at 3-2 and Brookfield Central and Wauwatosa East at 2-2.
Brookfield Central was scheduled to host conference-leading Sussex Hamilton on Tuesday, Jan. 10. The Lancers will head to Brookfield East to face the Spartans at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13.