The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

We Win Some, We Lose Some: Girls and Boys Basketball vs Niles North

Custovic prepares for a free throw at a pivotal moment.

The Niles West basketball program faced district rivals, Niles North, this past Friday, Jan. 19. The girls basketball teams accomplished a full sweep at Niles North, with varsity winning 64-43 against the Vikings. The boys game was held at home, but ended in a loss after a triple overtime with a score of 90-81.

The game was intense for both the players and the fans. At West, the bleachers were packed with students from both schools. West students were participating in a full whiteout, while North did the opposite with a blackout. Both schools showed spirit for their own school by participating in chants and cheering for their school. Principal Jeremy Christian led Niles West students in a ‘This is our house’ chant to motivate the boys on the court, however once North gained the lead, they took over the chant to imitate West students.

Both teams were looking forward to this game, as the rivalry between both schools brings out a new kind of competition.

Boys varsity head coach Mike Wasielewski was excited about the rivalry game and looked for the players to work hard.

“The Niles West vs. Niles North basketball game is always very intense and we will have a huge crowd in attendance. We look forward to this special atmosphere. I  expect us to play hard, work together, and give our best effort. They beat us earlier this season, so we hope to turn it around tonight at home,” Wasielewski said.

The boys game started off strong, with the Wolves in the lead for the first half. Davee Flowers, senior, was playing hot, hitting all his shots and leading the Wolves. At the end of the second quarter, they seemed to lose some of their steam, with the Vikings able to close the gap in the score.

The second half brought momentum for the Vikings. The energy in the gym was unforgettable. With every point scored, each school’s student sections were going crazy. Security guards had to hold back West students to keep them off the court. This energy and excitement added to the tense feelings of the game, with anticipation building in the fourth quarter.

The players especially felt this adrenaline. “It was crazy it was lowkey unbearable you couldn’t even hear your own thoughts, I was just trying to execute and remember the plays, it was just a tough game,” junior Felix Ortiz said.

Regulation time ended tied, which brought the game to its first overtime. The four minutes were tense, each time one team scored, the other team would score in their next possession. Neither team was able to get more than a two-point lead in the first two overtimes. From free throws to clutch three-pointers, the momentum was constantly changing hands, keeping the game exciting.

Flowers eventually fouled out, which gave Joey Pantazis, senior, the opportunity to shine, before he seemingly hurt his hamstring during the third overtime. That was the nail in the coffin, as North was then able to take the lead for the rest of the game. The game ended 90-81 with the trophy going to Niles North until next year.

At North, on the other hand, the girls came into the game strong, and held their lead the whole game, not allowing North to have an advantage. The girls played exceptionally well according to varsity head coach Amanda Mistretta.

“We played really good team basketball. We are finding open players and we are sharing the ball really well, so I think that’s fun to watch. It’s fun to coach games like that too,” Mistretta said.

Junior Katlyn Daly was able to score 25 points throughout the game, and the girls ended up winning by 21 points.

Mistretta was very proud of her players; they have worked hard this season and kept it light at the same time.

“They are extremely goofy during practice. They love to joke around nonstop, but when it comes to game time they know how to lock in. They are a really good group. They work hard, and I know they want to be better, so they put the work in, and we have seen the result,” Mistretta said

Both teams put up a good fight against their rivals, and it was definitely a night to remember. Join the boys at their next game against Maine East at home today, Jan. 26, as well as the girls against Maine East also today. Good luck to both teams!

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