The image of your bitter rival storming your home court after a two-point victory is the kind that sticks with a high school basketball team for a while. Luckily for Blue Valley Northwest, it only had to wait 2 1/2 weeks for a shot at redemption.
This time, Blue Valley Northwest capitalized on its opportunity and defeated Blue Valley North, 54-42 on Tuesday night on the Mustangs’ home court.
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“It feels pretty good,” Blue Valley Northwest senior guard and Iowa State signee Clayton Custer said. “They stormed the court when they beat us and that left a bad feeling in our stomachs. To come back and beat them by 12 feels really good. It’s really fun playing those guys.”
The Huskies, who are ranked second in The Star’s big class poll, improved to 14-2 and handed the Mustangs their first loss in Eastern Kansas League play. Blue Valley North dropped to 13-4 on the season.
The teams were tied at the end of the first quarter, but Blue Valley North needed all it could get from senior forward Jawon Emery to stay on pace in the second. He scored all 11 of the Mustangs’ points in that period to keep them tied at 23-23 at halftime.
The Huskies were forced to play without Custer for the majority of the third quarter after he picked up his third foul at the 6:40 mark, but they were able to build up their first definitive lead with him on the bench. The Huskies held Emery to just one third-quarter point while outscoring the Mustangs 15-4. Blue Valley Northwest led by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter and never let the lead fall lower than a dozen.
“We hit shots and I think we did a better job of guarding,” Huskies coach Ed Fritz said. “We wanted to attack and I thought our bigs did a good job of attacking and kicking it out.”
Custer led the Huskies with 18 points which included two three-pointers. He was followed by senior Vince Fritz and David Salach who each added nine points. Emery paced the Mustangs with 15 points.