There's still work left to be done, but Brookfield Central's boys basketball took care of its own business and received a bit of help in the Greater Metro Conference title race last week.
The Lancers swept the West Allis schools last week, downing West Allis Central, 73-62, on Jan. 31 before grabbing a 79-60 win over West Allis Hale on Feb. 3 to improve to 16-1 overall and 9-1 in league play.
With the two wins and a loss by Menomonee Falls to Wauwatosa East, Brookfield Central leads the Greater Metro by two games with four conference games remaining. The Lancers can clinch at least a share of the league crown with wins over Marquette and Sussex Hamilton this week.
"We haven't really spent a great deal of time talking about that," Brookfield Central coach Dan Wandrey said. "Obviously, it is a goal we set at the beginning of the year and is something we all would love to see happen. When you are going through it, you get caught up in preparing of what is happening next.
"It is right in front of us, but if anybody gets caught looking ahead, we are in trouble. We've spent a lot of time talking about going into the gym every day and getting better. Guys have been doing a pretty good job of that."
With a strong first half, Brookfield Central took down West Allis Central, 73-62. The Lancers led, 39-23, at halftime, which allowed them to hold on despite being outscored, 39-34, in the second half.
Sophomore guard Gage Malensek led the Lancers with 29 points, his third-straight game scoring at least 20 points. He also added seven assists and three assists.
"He was on an incredible streak," Wandrey said. "When I look at him offensively, he can hurt you in so many different ways. He has all three areas of scoring: he can get it to the basket, he has a nice pull-up game and he can shoot it. I'd even like to see him shoot it more. If he hunted his shot a little bit more, it might make him even more dangerous. It is one thing to go out and get 29 points, but he is setting up our offense and sharing the ball."
Senior guard Sam Rohde scored 17 points, junior guard Andres Peralta-Werns had 15 points and sophomore guard Cole Nau finished with 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
Brookfield Central went 24-for-42 from the field (57.1 percent), hitting 9 of 15 3-point attempts and 16 of 19 free-throw attempts.
Led by a triple-double of 17 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists from Nau and 17 points from Peralta-Werns, the Lancers took care of last-place Hale with a 19-point win.
Peralta-Werns connected on four 3-pointers, as Brookfield Central knocked down 10 triples as a team. Rohde finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, Malensek had 11 points, junior guard Jack Brady scored 8 points and senior forward Chris Post added 6 points and eight rebounds.
"Hale clearly made a decision to not let Gage beat them," Wandrey said. "They did a box-and-one and some different things on him. Sam made some shots, Andres hit some shots, and we put Cole in a little bit of a different spot.
"Those kids have good instincts and know what is going on. Cole is such a good decision-maker with the ball. That's how he does impact the game. He's a great defender, he rebounds, he shares the ball. He's in the right spots. It was great to see."
Brookfield Central was scheduled to play at Marquette (5-11, 3-7 Greater Metro) on Feb. 7 and will return home to host Sussex Hamilton (7-10, 3-6) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, and Oshkosh West (5-11, 5-8 Fox Valley Association) at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11.