BOYS

Bellevue West boys basketball won a game of runs Friday night over Westside 75-71.

Highlights: Leading 53-45 at the end of the third quarter, the Thunderbirds made 10 of 11 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter to hold off Anthony Bratton—who finished with a game-high 23 points—and the Warriors.

AJ Jackson scored the T-birds’ first nine points of the fourth quarter to give Bellevue West a 62-49 lead. The Warriors then went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to four.

After Westside used a 7-0 run to close the first quarter and claim a 24-20 lead, the T-birds went on an 11-0 run during the second quarter to grab a 36-30 lead at halftime.

Top performers: Jackson scored 22 points on 9-for-18 shooting, including 3-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line. Cedric Johnson added 16 points and six rebounds and was 6-for-7 from the field.

From the coach: “It feels great. It’s good for the kids, good for the seniors, should be good for their confidence. To get over the hump against a very good basketball team feels great.”

“We hit enough shots that that allowed us to get a little separation.”

- Bellevue West coach Doug Woodard

GIRLS

Bellevue West girls basketball lost a heartbreaker to Westside 54-52.

Highlights: Laura Jurek drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game at 52-all with under a minute to play. Chloe Akin-Otiko then tipped a Westside pass and Mia Felici secured the steal with 10 seconds left. Felici then passed to Akin-Otiko, who was fouled and had two free throws with 5.6 seconds left. Akin-Otiko missed both free throws, and Westside’s Quinn Weidemann took the ball coast-to-coast and made a floater at the buzzer to down the T-birds.

The two teams traded the lead nine times in the second half, with the largest lead being Bellevue West’s 32-27 advantage at the start of the third quarter.

To start the second half, the T-birds were held scoreless until the 3:36 mark of the third quarter, but three free throws from Akin-Otiko and a 3-pointer by Felici gave the T-birds a 38-36 lead with 2:41 remaining.

Top Performers: Akin-Otiko led the T-birds with 23 points while Jurek added 13.

From the coach: “It doesn’t come down to those two free throws…It’s an easy game; layups and free throws, and we just didn’t make either one tonight.”

- Bellevue West girls coach Rick Mintken

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