Second quarter Husky comeback seals substate championship win over Shawnee Mission South, 55-33

The boys varsity basketball team staged a second quarter comeback after a slow start in the first quarter.

The boys basketball team celebrates their substate championship win.

Jack Bensing , Writer

With a trip to Wichita on the line, the Huskies were gearing up to keep their hopes of a fourth straight state championship alive. The first moments of the game proved to be a challenge for the Huskies, scoring only six points to start with and allowing the Raiders to score 15 points to end the first quarter. Junior Jack Chapman said that a lack of a connection as a team contributed to their slow start.

“Adversity just hit us,” Chapman said. “We just weren’t connected defensively or offensively. We were all playing for ourselves and all we had to do was come together.”

Fortunately for Blue Valley Northwest, the defense only allowed the Raiders to score a total of two points in the second quarter, which allowed the Huskies to enter halftime with a 22-17 lead. Head coach Ed Fritz attributed the comeback to the Raiders’ lack of offense in the second quarter, giving their team an opportunity.

“[Shawnee Mission South] came out and played really well. We did a terrible job on dribble penetration,” Fritz said. “But they only scored two points in the second quarter and that kind of helped us get back to where we needed to be.”

The second half of the game proved uncompetitive, with the Huskies stretching their lead to 22 by the end. However, with the padding of the lead came a few major strategy changes to keep the momentum going. 

One such change was the amount of outside shot attempts in the game. When it came to coming back and staying ahead, Fritz said getting to the rim, along with staying in front on defense, helped the Huskies throughout the game.

“[One spark for our team in the second quarter was] just staying in front of guys,” Fritz said. “We started attacking the basket instead of shooting outside.”

As it turned out, the strategy of attacking the basket and avoiding low percentage shots led to Junior Alston Mason garnering no points from behind the arc. Instead, Mason scored all of his 15 points from driving to the basket.

“My threes weren’t falling at first so I was trying to get to the rim as much as possible,” Mason said.

Advancing to the state basketball tournament, the Huskies will look to secure another victory on Thursday at Charles Koch arena in Wichita, Kan, in hopes of winning four straight state championships.