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

First Round of Regionals Success for the Varsity Boys Basketball Team

Brianna Cronologia
The varsity team lined up ready to play defense.

Starting the first regional game strong, the varsity boys basketball team won against Maine East on Wednesday, Feb.21. All grade levels came and cheered for the Wolves at Maine East. By halftime, the Wolves had a lead of 17 points, but the Blue Demons came back with a fight. In the end, Maine East could not keep up with Niles West, and the Wolves won 53-49.

The boys started strong and once the Wolves had the lead, Maine East could not get it back. There were a lot of supporters at the game as well. Both students and parents dressed up in the red Niles West gear. At the Blue Demons Main gym, the Wolves still had more supporters than the Demons.

“Our first game went well with a few slip-ups; however we were locked in and came out with the win. My mindset going into the playoffs is to take one game at a time and to continue working hard with my teammates during practice to prepare.  The key factor to winning each game for playoffs is staying focused in practice. Being able to communicate on the court by giving each other reminders and callouts will help us win,” senior Aidan Custovic said.

The game against Maine East was a fight for both sides, but senior Davee Flowers led all scorers with 23 points.

The boys have put in the effort this season by practicing Monday through Saturday every week — since the season started. Their strive has paid off because they were able to make it to the 8th seed this year with a record of 21-10.

“I want to see the team execute our game plan, play hard, and play together. The key to winning will be executing our game plan, giving great effort, and working well together,” head basketball coach Mike Wasielewski said.

Going into regionals against Loyola Academy, the boys are deciding to focus on defense because they believe their offense is strong. The boys have also been going over Loyolas’ plays in order to know what to prepare for and when to set screens, according to senior Mario Parker.

“Our main strengths I think our defense is going to be the key to winning this game I think if we work hard on defense we will win because we have scorers, we have senior Davee Flowers and we have senior Joseph Pantazis, we got guys who can shoot so I think we will be good,” Parker said.

This game is the determining factor for the boys, if they win they will win regionals and move on, however, if they lose it will be the last game of their season; which is nerve-wracking for some of the guys.

“I guess it feels kind of surreal, I am a senior so this could be my last game, so I don’t want to say scared and nervous, but I’m still excited too,” Parker said.

The Wolves play Loyola today at Maine East for the second round of Regionals. Come out and cheer for the boys at 7 p.m.

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