Boys basketball wraps up season with win against Del Norte

Matthew Flores, Staff Writer

In the final home game of this season against Del Norte, the boys basketball team achieved a close win with a score of 60-56, May 28, a redemption to their 42-26 loss the night before.

Shooting guard Scotty Krysl (12) said that the first game against Del Norte went as poorly as possible and it was really hard on the team.

“The team couldn’t score at all and it was also because it was senior night at Del Norte,” he said. “So they started all their seniors and they hit two three-pointers in the beginning and that really set us back.”

Center Max Lonneker (12) agreed, saying that the team wasn’t expecting to take the second game due to their 15-point loss the previous day.

“Some guys just couldn’t make shots and despite our solid defense, we couldn’t get our offense rolling,” he said.

However, the loss was not enough to diminish the team’s spirit, and they did everything they could to prepare for the rematch, this time with a home court advantage.

Krysl said the Wolverines had done a lot of preparation for these last two games and had to adapt and strategize to have a chance at winning.

“In preparation for this game, we knew that Del Norte had three players that posed a potential threat to us,” he said. “Our defensive game plan was to stop these three guys first then worry about the rest of the team after and on offense. We knew they were strategizing, switching screens so we decided to spread out our offense and attack the weak defenders.”

Lonneker also said that the team mentally prepared better for this game, as it was their last home game of the season, and for the seniors, their last home game of high school.

“Before this game, our team came together, as we always do, to hype each other up and get locked in for the game,” he said. “As long as everyone stayed focused and played well, we knew we had a shot at winning.”

Despite Del Norte scoring the first basket of the second game, it wasn’t enough to stop Westview from storming back to take the lead.

Immediately, Westview started taking control in the first quarter. A layup by Jack  Boyd (12) and a three-pointer from Lonneker ran Westview’s lead to 10-5.

In the second quarter, Westview continued their lead, ending with a score of 21-17.

With Lonneker almost dunking the ball in the beginning after a rebound and scoring the first two points of the quarter, it set up Westview for their continued lead in the second quarter.

Lonneker said that the team was performing exceptionally this time around, both offensively and defensively.

“When we run a good offense by making good shots as well as having really fun plays, we have a lot of fun,” he said. “It causes the team to build momentum and get on a roll.”

Krysl said their performance was also mainly due to the sheer nature of the team.

“With the way our team plays, we’re always trying our best to have a good time on the floor and always manage to share the ball and energy with each other,” he said.

Heading into the second half of the game, Westview pulled up with a huge lead in the third quarter, leading the Nighthawks with a score of  44-29, continuing to establish their dominance.

As the game rolled into the fourth quarter, the mood and players started to get more physical with each other. The crowd got anxious as the last eight minutes began to tick down.

Down by a significant amount, Del Norte started fouling Westview a lot, which resulted in Westview doing the same. Lonneker stated that things were heating up between players from both teams.

Krysl also added that since both teams know each other very well, it was expected that there would be more aggressiveness and attitude on the floor.

“With all the fouls being called we just had to keep our cool and not make any mistakes like getting a technical foul,” he said.

Despite the noise from the crowd and the tension from the teams, both Krysl and Lonneker were successfully able to bank points with their shots.

“I just go through my usual routine and ignore the distractions,” Lonneker said. “I always take three dribbles, a deep breath, then shoot. The breath calms me down and allows me to make a fluid shot.”

In the last few seconds, Del Norte seized the ball and made a buzzer-beater shot, but it was not enough to catch up to the lead Westview held since the first quarter.

With the final ding of the buzzer, the Wolverines rejoiced. Lonneker, Krysl, and the rest of the seniors savored the moment as they had just won their last regular-home season game of their high school careers.