No. 25 Wildcats upset No. 3 Huskies, spoil season-opener, 55-38

The Blue Valley Northwest boys varsity basketball team opened their 2019-2020 season with a surprising 55-38 loss to Blue Springs. Junior guard Jack Chapman led the Huskies in scoring with 16 points.

Jonny Isaacson, Sports Editor

Jumping out to a 6-2 lead early in the first quarter, the Huskies came out of the gates hot. They would soon lose control however as the Wildcats would close out the quarter on a 15-2 run to give them a 17-8 lead over Northwest.

A big reason the Huskies were able to keep the game within single digits was the efforts of senior guard Markell Hood. He would finish the quarter with seven of the team’s eight points and said he was trying to set his team’s tone.

“I was coming in setting the tone for my team,” Hood said. “Trying to get the tone going with us being young and kept trying to score.”

In the second quarter, the Huskies would attempt to regain some of their lost momentum and would chip away at the Wildcat’s lead as they would head to the locker room only trailing by five at halftime. Having only scored five points in the first half, junior guard Jack Chapman came out of the locker room swinging as he would score 11 points in the third quarter alone. During the halftime break, Chapman said he was told to stay aggressive by head coach Ed Fritz, which was able to get him going.

“[Fritz] told me to stay aggressive and play through the offense. It was a tough game. We were trailing, so I thought I had to be aggressive to get the team back in it,” Chapman said. “But honestly, we just needed to execute our plays and when we executed our plays good stuff came out of it.”

Despite the effort, BVNW still trailed by four points heading into the final quarter. To open the fourth quarter, the Wildcats would respond to Chapman’s efforts with a 13-4 run that would seal the game and put them up 46-33 with just under five minutes remaining. The Wildcats would go on to win the game in comfortable fashion, 55-38. For the majority of the night, turnovers plagued the Huskies as they would finish the game with 22, despite only averaging six per game last season, according to Fritz.

“We turned the ball over 22 times and we averaged about six or seven per game last year,” Fritz said. “When you turn it over, they get a chance to get easy points and then you don’t get a shot of the ball.”

Despite the loss, the team’s goal of winning state doesn’t change, Chapman said.

“The plan is to win state, the plan will always to be to win state,” Chapman said. “We’re going to play hard, we’re going to come together as a team. Obviously this is a setback, we didn’t want to see it this way, but we’re going to work our a**es off and go play.”

With the loss, the Huskies record drops to 0-1 on the season. Blue Valley Northwest will travel to Springfield, Mo. to participate in the Ozark Mountain shootout on Dec. 12-13.