Huskies open 2018 with 49-34 win over Shawnee Mission North

The girls varsity basketball team opened second semester with a 49-34 win over the Shawnee Mission North Indians Wednesday Jan. 3 at BVNW. Senior forward Evan Bail scored 10 points to lead the Huskies in the win.

Abby Loucks

Gabe Swartz

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For the entirety of the girls varsity basketball team’s 2017-18 season, the second half of games has been their downfall, but the Huskies opened 2018 with perhaps their most well-rounded game of the season. Wednesday night the Huskies led Shawnee Mission North at the half, 22-19. On the Huskies first possession of the second half, senior forward Evan Bail picked up one of her 5 assists on the night as she set up fellow senior forward Sarah Martin for a 3 which gave the Huskies a 25-19 lead.

“The third quarter really has been our downfall all year,” head coach Brian Bubalo said.

Martin knocked down her second 3-pointer of the night with 3:00 left in the third quarter to give the Huskies a comfortable 31-24 lead. The Huskies have been outscored 22-55 in the third quarter of their five losses this year, but were able to hold onto their 3 point halftime lead, with an even 11-11 third quarter against the Indians.

“We’ve had a lot of games where it’s been close and the second half we come out and fall short,” senior guard Kate Kaufman said. “But, I don’t know I guess we were all just ready to play.”

Junior guard Haley Shin began the fourth quarter with an impressive drive through the teeth of the Indians defense as Shin took the contact and scored the basket to convert the three-point play. On the next possession, Shin surveyed the court and found junior forward Madison Gerard for a layup with 6:41 remaining in the game, extending the Huskies lead to 38-30.

 

From that point on the Huskies offense continued to find its groove running pick-and-roll plays to get easy offense for Bail and Gerard, who finished with 10 and 8 points respectively, as the Huskies cruised to a 49-34 win, their second of the year.

In the first half, the Indians 6-foot-1 sophomore guard Lele Love provided all of the offensive output for Shawnee Mission North. Love, who scored 15 points in the first half, was quieted in the second half by a defensive adjustment for the Huskies.

“The game plan was to try to help on her, initially, and alternate between man-to-man and zone,” Bubalo said. “And even though she had fifteen points, she had four points on steals and four points on offensive rebounds, so our defense really wasn’t that bad in the first half. In the second half… I was just not going to let one player beat us. So we went to a diamond and one and we played her man-to-man and forced the other girls to take the shots.”

The Huskies defense clamped down on Love and the Indians in the fourth quarter specifically, as they held them to just one point until a garbage time 3 fell for SMN with 40 seconds to play.

Bail, who had an all-around game with 10 points, five assists and three rebounds said coming off a disappointing end to the first semester, the Huskies needed this game to turn it around.

“I think we were all just motivated to win because we put in so much work over winter break.”

With the win Blue Valley Northwest moves to 2-5 on the year. The Huskies play hosts to the Schlagle Stallions Friday Jan. 5 at 7 p.m at BVNW.