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New Berlin West boys lose basketball thriller to Whitnall

Team's losing streak extends to 10 games

Chamika Wijenayake of New Berlin West races in for a layup as younger brother Mindika Wijenayake and Whitnall’s Kevion Taylor trail the play. The host Vikings lost, 63-60, on Friday.

Chamika Wijenayake of New Berlin West races in for a layup as younger brother Mindika Wijenayake and Whitnall’s Kevion Taylor trail the play. The host Vikings lost, 63-60, on Friday. Photo By Dave Haberkorn

Jan. 20, 2014

It was all downhill for the New Berlin West boys on Friday, as they lost a 10-point first-quarter lead and fell to Whitnall, 63-60, at home to extend their losing streak to 10 games.

West is now 2-13, including a 2-9 record in the Woodland West, and they travel to Pius XI (9-4, 6-2) on Jan. 24.

An early lead

Things looked good for the Vikings, who took a 20-10 lead against the Falcons on Friday after one quarter. But Whitnall took over the game the rest of the way, outscoring the Vikings, 53-40, to eke out the victory.

"In the first half, we were running our offense well, but all of a sudden we started doing the same old thing — turnovers really hurt us," coach Jeff Lewiston said.

The Vikings led, 34-26, at halftime and 42-38 through three periods. But the Falcons went on a 25-18 run in the fourth quarter for the comeback win.

"The kids played hard. They did a lot of things right," Lewiston said. "Scott Rechel had a nice game as he got a double-double."

Mitch Brault had 24 points and Nate Schaefer added 18 to lead Whitnall, while the Vikings had good balance with four players in double figures.

Reichel led the way with 20 points, followed by Collin Horning with 12 points, including three 3-pointers. Chamika and Mindika Wijenayake added 10 points each.

Lewiston praised the Wijenayake brothers, Horning and Brennan Grossman for their play.

"We played with heart," Lewiston said. "But we have to learn to play full games."

Bad third period

Earlier in the week the Vikings dropped a 56-30 non-conference game at Slinger (10-4) on Jan. 14 to begin the week before getting into Woodland Conference action against Whitnall.

The Owls couldn't get rid of the Vikings early, leading 12-5 after one quarter and 21-13 at halftime. But Slinger quickly doubled up the score in the third period (18-9) to coast into the fourth quarter with a 39-22 advantage. They continued their romp with a 17-8 final period, giving them a 35-17 second-half advantage.

Only four Vikings scored — Reichel (11), Fred Cottrell (eight), Chamika Wijenayake (four) and Brett Connors (four).

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