No. 1 Huskies fall to No. 3 Mustangs in overtime nail-biter, 63-62

The boys varsity basketball team was defeated by Blue Valley North, 63-62, Feb. 5. The loss snapped a 31-game winning streak for the Huskies.


Meredith Jolitz

Senior Nick Sullivan guards an opponent in the boys varsity basketball game against Blue Valley North.

Jack Nitz, Sports Editor

Earlier this season, Blue Valley Northwest took on Blue Valley North and won, 71-56. The Huskies came into this game looking to sweep the season series and continue their win streak over their rival Mustangs that has lasted since 2015. But, the Huskies found themselves down at halftime, 28-20. Senior Alston Mason said the reason for the early deficit was a lack of energy.

“I think we came out pretty flat and they came out with more energy than us and were more hungry than us,” Mason said.

Head coach Ed Fritz said the team needs to come out more determined to win, especially against a tough opponent like North.

“We missed a lot of easy shots, but I just thought they had a lot more energy and their will to win was greater than ours,” Fritz said. “They did a good job, they’re a really tough team and my hats off to them.”

Going into the fourth quarter trailing by five points, the Huskies knew they needed to play well as a team and make shots to get back in the game. Senior Ben Fritz said the team did just that, as they managed to tie the game, 50-50, forcing overtime.

“We moved the ball well, played well as a team and knocked down some big shots and it helped us get back in the game,” Ben said.

The Huskies switched to a 1-3-1 zone late in the fourth quarter and it helped them to force turnovers, leading to points in transition. Fritz said the team played well in the fourth quarter as they mounted a comeback. 

“After seeing where we were at after the first half, I liked what we did to be able to force overtime,” Fritz said. 

As the game went into overtime, Mason said the team was focused on getting stops and making important shots.

“Going into overtime, I was just thinking I need to do whatever I can to help us win,” Mason said. “We knew we needed to make our shots and play good [defense].”

After the Mustangs converted an and-one with 30 seconds remaining in overtime, the Huskies found themselves trailing, 59-54. Sophomore Grant Stubblefield made a layup with 20 seconds remaining. The Mustangs made two free throws and Mason answered with a three-pointer to make the score 61-59. The Huskies were forced to foul and North made both free throws, giving them a 63-59 lead and icing the game for the Mustangs.

With only six players getting playing time for the Huskies, Fritz said the team looked tired down the stretch.

“It kind of looked like we ran out of gas towards the end, so we just need to keep on working on our conditioning,” Fritz said.

Prior to the game, Fritz received the 2019-2020 Kansas Coaches Association Boy Basketball Coach of the Year award and the National Federation of State High School Associations Midwest Section Boys Basketball Coach of the Year award. While Fritz said it was an honor to be recognized by his peers, he said he would rather have won the game against North.

“It’s nice to be recognized, especially by your peers, but I would trade any award for a win and I’m focused on getting this team better,” Fritz said.

With the loss, the Huskies record comes to 10-1. The Huskies next game will be against Derby High School on Saturday, Feb. 6, at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School.