BVNW basketball program celebrates annual Sweetheart games

Both the girls and the boys basketball teams took on Bishop Miege tonight in their annual Sweetheart game. The boys improve their record to 12-2 and the girls team to 6-8.

Liz Kuhlmann and Ankit Kadakia

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The Blue Valley Northwest basketball programs participated in their annual Sweetheart basketball games, this year’s featuring a double header by both the varsity girls and boys teams against Bishop Miege. The girl’s tipped off at 6:00 p.m. and the boys followed suit at 8:00 p.m. Despite a fast start, the girls team was unable to keep their lead much longer than six minutes into the game and the Stags defeated the Huskies with a final score of 36-48. The boys team had better luck, and hit the floor clad in their alternate camouflage uniforms in honor of the special game to defeat the Stags with a final score of 70-46.

The girls basketball team took a quick lead after winning the tip off, 7-2 against the Stags with key buckets by sophomore post Mya Mertz. However, Miege went on a 9-0 run in under three minutes with key threes and transition buckets; the Husky defense was unable to achieve a solid stop. At the conclusion of the first quarter, the team trailed Miege by one point, 9-10. The second quarter led to an explosion of points from the Stags. Miege added 15 to their ten points in the first quarter for a total of 25 at the end of the half, but the Huskies were unable to hit their shots and gave up many offensive boards, only adding five to their nine fora  total of 14.

“We threw the ball away too much,” head coach Brian Bubalo said. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds and let them take control of the game.”

At half time, Bubalo attempted to boost his team’s moral by reviewing their defensive strategy and going over offensive options. His plan to motivate his team worked, and the Huskies slowly but surely began chipping away at Miege’s lead until the score was 25-32 at the end of the third quarter.

“We executed our offense better than we did in the past,” sophomore Mya Mertz said.

However, according to Mertz the Huskies gave the Stags too many chances to lengthen their lead and turned the ball over too much in the fourth quarter. BVNW was unable to regain their lead and fell to Miege with a final score of 36-48.

Mertz commented that there was an even mix of positive and negative aspects of the game, but there is still room for improvement. Bubalo agreed and said overall the team needs to improve on ball controlling and rebounding, a key part of every game.

“We had plenty of good shots, but not enough great shots,” Bubalo said. “We will be focusing a lot on improving our game for the next game.”

Despite a rather rough start to the night, the boys basketball team soon got things rolling. It was hunting season at the Pound tonight and the Stags were in season as members entered the gym decked out in a camouflage theme to match the varsity boys basketball team’s uniforms. Despite a slow start, the Huskies rallied to stomp the stags with a final score of 70-46.

The team had a rough time handling Bishop Miege’s zone defense in the beginning, unable to hit as many shots as they would have liked. Miege capitalized on this weakness, and at the end of the first quarter, the Huskies trailed 12-13.

The game picked up  pace in the second quarter. The Huskies fell into a rhythm and established a 25-20 lead against Miege by the end of the first half. However, Fritz said typically his team scores more than that by the end of the second quarter, so he was not pleased with the first half.

“We haven’t gone against a zone very much, so we had a little trouble getting into the flow and rhythm offensively,” head coach Ed Fritz said. “We did a little better job recovering and doing those kinds of things.”

During halftime, it is a Husky tradition to crown the Sweetheart King. This year’s nominees (seniors Ian Arch, Tejas Patel, Tim Burge, John Burdette and Vivek Panchananam) made the executive decision to  forfeit their nominations to crown senior Jacob Hammond as the 2014 Sweetheart King.

“We wanted to recognize someone who doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves,” Patel said. “He is honestly one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.”

According to senior post David Salach, the Huskies entered into the second half much stronger than the prior two quarters. The third quarter was characterized by numerous three-point shots by BVNW as they finally found their rhythm. By the end of the quarter, BVNW had a 17 point lead against Miege making the score 49-32.The team continued to play with the same energy and spirit for the remainder of the game. At the end of the fourth quarter, BVNW defeated Bishop Miege 70-46.

“The first half was not very good for us,” Salach said. “Coming into half time, we played very bad. But during the second half, we played very well. At the end of the day, we had a pretty good game.”

Fritz agreed that the game went well. However, he believes there were some rough spots and that the team has work to do.

“I think the game turned out OK,” Fritz said. “It was a 24-point winner, so that was good. We are going to have to get better defensively and we have to jump off to a better start.”

The basketball program will take on BVN at BVN Tuesday. The girls will tip off at 5:30 p.m. and the boys will follow suit at 7:00 p.m. Both teams suffered losses at their previous matchup, and look to improve and make a statement Tuesday night.