Girls and Boys Basketball: Meet the Starters

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There is no better way to start off the season with all around wins. The Bellevue West boys and girls basketball ball teams both haven’t lost a single game yet starting off the season strong.

Girls’ basketball

Head Coach: Marc Kruger.

Senior Captains: Taylor Ditoro, Annie Szczepaniak, Elisha Cobbs, Emilie Pechaceck, Kim Smith and Hailee Kowalski.

“I have high expectations for them this year, but they are very capable of achieving them,” first year Head Coach Marc Kruger said.

Kruger took over the head coaching job from Matt Fritsche. Fritsche coached the girls Varsity basketball team to back to back state championships from 2008-09.
“It’s different without Fritsche, but it’s still the same,” said junior Julie Targy.
Targy started last year as a sophomore and led the team in steals.
“Taylor [Ditoro] is back, and she plays good defense, so we will be stronger there,” Targy said.
Last year, injuries plagued the Thunderbirds, as three starters were not able to play. This year they are healthy and improved.
“This year we have size in the paint, which we didn’t have last year,” Targy said. “We held our own last year, but it should help us even more.”
The team does not have a star player this year that seems to do it all, and Targy sees that as a positive move.
“We all are really good at something, and we have to play our part this year,” Targy said. “Everyone on the court and the bench has the ability to score points.”

The Thunderbirds are 2-0 with wins at Lincoln East last Friday, (74-34) and Lincoln Northeast last Saturday (75-52).

“The standard was set so high for us when we were freshmen, and we’re here to continue that for the younger girls now,” senior Elisha Cobbs said.

You can see both teams face off against the Omaha Northwest Huskies tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys at 7:15 p.m.

Boys’ basketball

Head Coach: Doug Woodard

Captains: Deon Pettigrew and Brad Brazeal

The boys basketball team has strong starters to get the game rolling.

Seniors, Deon Pettigrew, Chris Martin; juniors, Christian Hatterle, Malik Hluchoweckyj and Brad Brazeal.

Coach Doug Woodard thinks the team is going to be successful this year based on what he’s seen.

“The first game went well. They have a very good chance of qualifying this year,” said Woodard. For the boys, they’ve been practicing since November 12th and are working on improving their skills.

“We are faster this year and more conditioned,” Brazeal said. “We have a pretty light schedule this year, so if we can get past metros we should be okay.”

The team has skills, but that’s not the only thing working to their advantage: they know how to play as a team.

“The guys get along great. There are never any problems as far as I can see,” said Woodard.

The players feel the same way.
“Since we played football together, we have a better bond than most teams,” Hatterle said.
The team has come across a speed bump early on this season. Pettigrew has strained his patellar tendon.
“[The doctor said] I’m out until the middle of January. It could be worse,” Pettigrew said.
Deon is one of the team’s leading scorers, and is a big part of the team.
“I’m going to have to step up on rebounds and scoring inside,” Hatterle said.
The team has played two games so far and have won
“Injuries are always a factor, we have good depth on our team,” Woodard said.
Sophomore Clester Johnson will be starting in place of Pettigrew.
James Teutschmann
West Wind Editor-in-Chief
James Teutschmann
West Wind Editor-in-Chief