The boys basketball team rocked the stable

The boys basketball team improves to 13-2 with a win over rival BVN, 54-42.

Laney Breidenthal, Writer

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After the loss for the boys varsity basketball team in the first game against rival Blue Valley North at home, the victory in their second game against each other at BVN diminishes the bitter taste left in the players’ mouths, according to senior Clayton Custer. Custer led the team in points scored with 9 points at halftime and 18 points at the end of the game; which ended with a final score of BVNW 54 to BVN 42.

“It was fun to get back out there and play Blue Valley North again just because of what happened last time,” Custer said. “We had a little extra motivation this time to try to get a win, and it felt good. We played together and did what we were supposed to do.”

The game started off in BVNW’s possession. BVN got the ball back to their side of the court, where senior David Salach blocked their shot. BVNW got the ball back, and Salach was the first to score for the two teams. In BVNW’s third possession, Custer made his first points of the night after sinking a three-point shot. Following Custer’s basket, BVN turned the ball over for the first of several times in the game. With 5:45 left in the first quarter, senior Ben Richardson blocked BVN’s shot and stole the ball. At the end of the first quarter, the score was tied at 12.

“I think just coming off the loss last time with them rushing our court made us come out with a chip on our shoulder and made us want it that much more,” Custer said.

55 seconds into the second quarter, Salach, once again, scored the first points of the quarter. The score remained extremely close throughout the second quarter and the half ended with another tie at 23 points.

“We didn’t play that well in the first half, but once we got going in the second half, we made a couple shots and got the momentum swinging our way and we played better defense,” Custer said. “I think that’s what turned the game around and got us the lead.”

The third quarter began with BVNW’s possession in which Custer scored a two-point basket. With 6:30 left in the third quarter, Custer got into foul trouble when he received his third, and he did not return to the game until there were 28 seconds left in the quarter. Shortly after Custer came out of the game, Salach had another block, and senior Kyle Harrison had a block later on in the quarter. With 1:32 left, BVNW scooped up a stray ball and Richardson scored a three-point shot. Custer also made a three-point shot before the quarter ended with the score of BVNW 38 to BVN 27.

“Defensively, in the third quarter, we locked down, and they only made four points, so that was kind of big,” Custer said.

With 6:56 left in the fourth quarter, BVNW called a timeout and neither team had scored as of yet, however, with 6:20 left, BVN scored two points, which was immediately followed by two points by BVNW. By the next timeout called by BVN, BVNW led 42 to 29. After the timeout, Custer scored two points and Salach got another block. The game ended with the score of 54 to 42 with BVNW coming out on top.

“We just wanted to play better than we did last time,” head boys basketball coach Ed Fritz said about the team’s mindset for the game. “We did a good job of knowing what they were doing and took some of their stuff away that they like to do, so I’m really proud of that.”

According to Fritz, BVNW did an admirable job defending BVN, who attempted to get the ball in to number 32, Jawan Emery, often. Emery led BVN in points scored with 15. In addition, Fritz wanted to make number 30, Cooper Cook, shoot over BVNW players and not behind them, which, he believes, helped the team win. Fritz said that the goal for the team was to make easy plays and transitions, and offensively, BVNW made important baskets that helped the team.

“I feel great [about the win],” Fritz said. “This is good for the guys; it was a team effort and I feel really good about that. It is a good rivalry [with Blue Valley North]. These are two really good teams going at it…, and that makes for a fun environment. [The win] helps put us in a position for…substate.”

Custer said that while it is satisfying to know that he scored the most points, the team does not pay heed to who scores the most.

“That’s the cool thing about our team; we just go out there and play [together],” Custer said. “Whoever gets the ball finds the open man, and it just happened to be me tonight and I made a couple shots.”

The game was special for Custer because the rivalry between the two schools and how the schools’ fans interact with each other makes playing enjoyable.

“I never thought a high school rivalry could be like this,” Custer said. “Whenever you can get a big win where everyone is really passionate about playing in the game, it brings the team together. Our team is like a family; we’re always going to stay together and this will help us continue to gel as the season goes on.”

The boys’ next game will occur this Friday at 7 P.M. against Blue Valley West at home.