Remaining masters of the close finish, the Falcons held on for a 47-45 victory over visiting Shorewood on Feb. 6.
The game was the third in an exhausting three-tilt week for the Falcons, who also fell to Greenfield, 66-58, Feb. 3. They started this week with 8-4 in the Woodland Conference and 9-7 overall.
"This took a lot of us," Falcons co-coach Andy Bauschelt said. "Thank God that no one is grading on style points because we're winning some really ugly games."
Bauschelt and co-coach James Flegel are hoping for some good news this week, as they get word on the extent of the knee injury to 6-foot-8-inch senior center Steve Zielinski, who was injured in the final seconds of a win over Wauwatosa West on Feb. 2.
Against Shorewood, the Falcons missed the front end of five bonus situations to almost fritter away a seven-point advantage. The Greyhounds (3-12) got two chances at tying or winning the game in the final 20 seconds with an air-ball 3-pointer being the final gasp.
Joziah Mallett had 13 for Brown Deer while Jaleel Queary had eight. Four players contributed six points apiece.
"We got away from the things we do best and it almost cost us," Bauschelt said. "They got us playing a little too fast."
A 17-7 third quarter allowed Greenfield (8-8) to expand a 31-30 halftime advantage as the Hustlin' Hawks pulled out the road win.
Brown Deer was missing Zielinski, and Bauschelt said the team was tired from the overtime win over Tosa the night before.
Christopher Morgan had 18 points while Queary contributed 13.
The Highlanders fell to 3-7 in the North Shore and 6-10 overall with a pair of tough league defeats.
Homestead lost to visiting Milwaukee Lutheran, 46-42, Feb. 6, despite the Red Knights missing Division 1-college recruit guard Chim Kadima.
The teams were tied, 27-27, entering the final quarter but the Highlanders fell short and lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Shelby Harris had 12 points for Homestead while John Laihinen had nine and Coy Smith eight.
The Highlanders also lost to host Port Washington, 54-48, Feb. 3.
The Highlanders again found themselves tied, this time at 39-all, after three quarters before the Pirates pulled away.
Homestead had a hard time stopping star junior forward Josh Gasser, who got to the basket repeatedly and hit 14 of 16 free throws en route to 25 points.
The Pirates were 22-of-30 from the foul line as opposed to just 3-of-7 for the Highlanders.
Harris led Homestead with 11 while Laihinen had nine.
The Knights outscored co-North Shore Conference leader and host Germantown, 22-10, in the third quarter Feb. 6.
But that was more about pride than anything, as Nicolet had been bludgeoned, 59-31, in the first half en route to a 91-63 defeat to the Warhawks.
For Nicolet coach Paul Hepp, whose team (3-8, 6-11) has now lost seven of its last eight, the discouraging start continued a recent trend of poor first halves.
"It's all about pride," he said. "Not just pride in being a player but pride in being a person. How often can we go on just watching guys go right by us, just have guys beat us to the offensive boards again and again? That was our big talk at halftime and it did show up in the third quarter.
"Now we just wish we could get that kind of effort in the first half."
The Knights allowed 31 first-quarter points and could not recover against the Warhawks, who went on to score more than 50 in the first half for the third time in four games.
Cinmeon Bowers had 16 points while Jarel James contributed 13 for the Knights.
In a 32-30 loss to visiting Cedarburg on Feb. 3, neither team scored in double digits in any quarter.
Bowers and Myles Henry had 10 apiece for Nicolet.
It was a lost week for the Greyhounds, who dropped two contests by a total of four points and have now lost nine of their last 10 games.
Shorewood lost, 47-45, at home to Brown Deer on Feb. 6, following a 43-41 defeat at Cudahy on Feb. 3, the Packers' first Woodland Conference victory of the season.
Brown Deer held a 41-33 lead going into the final period. Shorewood clawed back into the game with a 12-6 run but fell short.
"We were down by 12 in the fourth period and fought back," Shorewood coach John Hoch said. "Last year we might have folded. We were mentally tough and had three good looks that might have won the game."
Antwain Barfield scored 12 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead Shorewood and Marc Mitchell added 10.
Three days earlier, Cudahy jumped out to an 18-4 lead. Shorewood battled back all night, outscoring the Packers in each of the last three quarters, but the early deficit proved to steep to climb.
"We had a two-point late in the game, but only hit one of four free throws," said Hoch, whose was just 11-of-17 from the line. "We were terrible from the free-throw line."
With 12 seconds left the Greyhounds had a chance to tie the game but turned the ball over.
Barfield scored 15 points and Mitchell had 11 to lead Shorewood (3-8, 3-12).
- Steven L. Tietz
and Tom "Sky" Skibosh,
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