After knocking off one of the Woodland Conference's better teams in Pius XI on Feb. 5, the Greendale boys basketball team nearly pulled off another big victory Friday night.
The Panthers dropped a 69-66 decision to Pewaukee, staying with the Pirates for the whole game and missing an attempt at a tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The split left them at 7-9 in the Woodland West Division and 8-13 overall going into the regular-season finale Tuesday against New Berlin West.
Greendale begins WIAA Division 2 tournament play at 7 p.m. Tuesday at home against Cudahy. The Panthers beat the Packers, 68-42, back in early December.
The victory over Pius XI would rate as one of the biggest of the season, as the Popes are traditional powers and routed Greendale, 59-31, in the first meeting.
'That was outstanding,' head coach Ryan Johnsen said. 'We lost by 20 points to them the first time, but our kids came back and worked hard. Offensively, we ran our stuff well and defensively, we were able to get stops.'
Jordan Perez led the way with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while David Pulizos added 11 points, Nick Dalton nine points and Josh Michaels seven.
'Michaels had a tremendous first half,' Johnsen said. 'Michaels, Dalton and Pulizos have come along this year, and we're at our best when other people score. Jordan always will get his points.'
Just as important as the offense, though, was the defense played by Cameron Rowe and Mitchell Brees on Donovan Jackson of Pius, who managed only 10 points.
Greendale came close to beating Pewaukee on Friday but fell just short. Perez tallied 15 points and Michaels 13 points.