Boys’ Basketball Recap: Bellevue West wins annual rivalry game


Sarah Wederquist

Senior Collin Richards heads down the court in the annual West-East basketball game. Richards finished the night with 15 points.

Nathan Hawkins , Reporter

What Happened: On Friday, Jan. 20, the Bellevue West Thunderbirds defeated crosstown rival Bellevue East 60-43. The Chieftains fell to 5-7 on the season, while the Thunderbirds improved to 9-5 with the win. The next night, Bellevue West raised their record to 10-5 with a 78-49 win over Omaha Central.


By the Numbers: Coming into the game, Bellevue East had a confidence against West they haven’t had in recent years, and rightfully so. Coming off a season in which their varsity squad didn’t win a game, Bellevue East was 5-6, with one of the losses coming from a buzzer beater by one of the better teams in state in Omaha North. With spirits high, the Chieftain Nation came into the game donning shirts that read “Change the Story.” The new year, however, couldn’t bring a new narrative for the Chieftains, as the the story remained unchanged. The first quarter ended with a competitive 17-17 tie. In the second quarter, Bellevue West’s defense held the Chieftains to six points, and went into half with a 34-23 lead. That deficit was too much to overcome, even though the second half was much more contested, as the Thunderbirds only outscored their counterparts by six points, 26-20.


Still, their comfortable lead going into the second half was enough as West walked away from the rivalry game with one more win on their resume with the 60-43 win. Senior point guard Collin Richards lead the way, making 6 of 8 shots, two of which came from beyond the arc, for 15 points. Junior Cedric Johnson also contributed 14 points in the win. For the Chieftains, scoring was hard to come by. The 43 total points for them was just one more than their season low of 42. The leading scorer coming into the game for the Chieftains, junior Hunter Mengel, only managed one point. Senior Eric Lenear lead the team with 19 points, shooting 7 of 14.


Next up: On Friday, Jan. 27, Bellevue West will head up to Lincoln to play the 10-4 Lincoln East Spartans.