Boy’s basketball upsets lead to triumph

AJ Forbes, Sports Editor

Before March Madness has even started, the Omaha Metro Area has already seen several upsets in boy’s basketball. With wins over 19-1 Creighton Prep, 18-4 Papillion-LaVista, and 15-5 Omaha Central, nobody has been better at going in as the underdog and coming out on top than the Bellevue West Boy’s Basketball team.

“We beat those teams by moving the ball around and trusting that every person will play their role,” junior guard Cedric Johnson said. Johnson leads the team in points per game (14.2) and assists per game (3.5) to go along with his four double-doubles on the season.

Johnson has taken a leadership role within the boy’s basketball squad.

“I always show my honesty and how I feel,” Johnson said. “I always have my head up, looking for ways that everyone can perform better as well.”

The junior point guard is accompanied by fellow junior Kuath Gatkuath in helping the Thunderbirds make their statements against those who are considered the top teams in the state. The 6’6” big man leads the team with 6.9 rebounds per game to go along with his 9 points per game. Gatkouth transferred to Bellevue West from Boys Town not just to build his own reputation, but to do his part to continue Bellevue West’s basketball legacy.

“I came here to win and, more importantly, make a run at a state title,” Gatkouth said.

Sitting at 14-7, Bellevue West takes pride in their wins, especially against opponents who are seen as the top teams in the state–Creighton Prep, Papillion-LaVista, and Omaha Central. However, there have been near shoo-in games where the Thunderbirds have come up short. Defense seems to be a consensus factor in the seven losses Bellevue West has suffered.

“We need to have more defensive stops in a row,” Johnson said. “If we are scoring the entire time, it does us no good if the other team is scoring just as many.”

The upset wins that the boy’s squad have been pulling out are nothing less than impressive. Johnson hopes that these wins and a winning attitude are able to put Bellevue West into state title contention.

“It feels like we are a part of that title of ‘high caliber’,” Johnson said. “We have a good chance to possibly win state just as easily as the top five teams do.”