Huskies take down Mustangs in thriller, 61-59

The boys varsity basketball team defeated Blue Valley North, 61-59, to earn their seventh straight victory Tuesday Jan. 24. Junior forward Joe Pleasant led the Huskies in points, scoring 14 points in the win.

Gabe Swartz, Sports Editor

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The boys basketball team defeated BVN, 61-59, earning their seventh consecutive victory. After a three-game stretch at The Border Classic in Pittsburg, Kan. that saw the Huskies dismantle Joplin High, Neosho and Pittsburg High by an average margin of victory of 44 points, the Huskies returned to EKL action with a much tougher matchup.

Throughout much of the first half of action, turnovers plagued the Huskies offense. Senior guard AJ Pleasant scored 13 points for the Huskies, but said the early turnover struggles were self-inflicted.

“I don’t really think it was [BVN’s] defense,” AJ said. “I think we were in just a panic, and just trying to make the fancy play instead of making the easy play.”

Head coach Ed Fritz said BVNW was unable to take advantage of their early 7-2 lead, squandering countless opportunities to take firm control of the game in the first quarter.

“I just thought we didn’t have much composure on offense,” Fritz said. “We made some really bad decisions, and that kind of kept us from breaking the game open early.”

Despite a poor offensive first half seeing the Huskies score a mere 23 points, junior forward Parker Braun anchored the Huskies defense, blocking six shots on the night.

Trailing 41-47 with 7:00 remaining in the fourth quarter, BVNW reeled off a 9-2 run which included a three-point basket from senior guard Jamicheal Morgan, making the score 50-49, and forcing a BVN timeout.

The fourth quarter comeback culminated with a two-handed slam by junior forward Joe Pleasant with 2:23 left, extending the BVNW lead to 55-50. Joe, who finished with a game-high 14 points for BVNW said he was looking for the opportunity to slam two points home all night.

Ben Brown

“I was telling myself, if I get in that close I’m trying to go [dunk] on someone’s head,” Joe said. “It was just a good opportunity.”

Blue Valley Northwest next game is Friday Jan. 27 at St. Thomas Aquinas. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.