By Dan Truttschel

Sports Correspondent

Late in Friday night’s Southern Lakes Conference opener at Burlington, the Westosha Central boys basketball team found itself within striking distance of the defending conference champions.

A couple missed chances later, however, and the Demons were able to hang on.

Central battled to a halftime tie but was outscored by eight points in the last two quarters in a 56-48 SLC loss. The defeat dropped the Falcons to 0-1 in conference play and 0-3 overall.

With about 1:30 left, Central trailed by three points but couldn’t find the basket when they needed to, coach Dave Sjong said.

“We got a couple good looks at a couple threes and missed them,” he said. “We had some turnovers (after that) and a couple offensive fouls that decided the game.”

Central had 20 turnovers in the contest, which also played a role in the final score, Sjong said.

“It was ultimately a four-point game,” he said.

Despite the loss, Sjong said he left the gym feeling that his team can compete with the Demons and the rest of the SLC.

A sore spot early in the season has been rebounding, but Central held its own Friday night, he said.

“We battled hard,” Sjong said. “We actually rebounded with them. They made some runs and we answered those with runs of our own.”

Sjong said sees a balanced conference race and is confident his team will be in the mix.

“I think there will be a lot of parity in the conference this year,” he said. “(Burlington) is big and they do rebound the ball.”

Dalton Sjong led the Falcons with 13 points, followed by Luke Millhouse with 12, Mike Michelau with nine and Jason Castona with seven.

Sjong wasn’t pleased with the difference in team fouls, as the Falcons were whistled for 23 to 16 for the Demons.

“That’s the part that I was most upset about,” he said. “We fouled one guy out, we had three others with four. It was absolutely ridiculous.

“But to have all that going wrong and to still be right there at the end, we know we can compete for a conference title.”

Central was back in action Thursday night against visiting Union Grove, which improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the SLC with a 57-48 win lat week over Delavan-Darien.

Following that matchup, the Falcons will travel to Elkhorn Tuesday, Dec. 13. The Elks dropped a 77-64 decision to Wilmot Friday night.




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