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The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

Boys basketball come up just short in a tight loss against Neuqua Valley

Photo by Bad Knee Media

On Friday, Jan. 19, the Naperville North boys basketball team took on the Neuqua Valley Wildcats at home which ended in a tough loss.

The Huskies (11-11) fell to the Wildcats (15-4) with a final score of 41-40.

Both offenses got off to a hot start, but the Wildcats seemed to struggle early against the Huskies’ aggressiveness. The Huskies were able to pick up some momentum after senior Jack Kallstrand helped get the Huskies to an 11-5 lead after the first quarter. Senior Bryce Welch contributed as well with a stellar dunk. Neuqua Valley was able to not let the game get out of control, as they brought the score to 19-12 (Huskies) with a buzzer-beater three to end the half. Kallstrand explains how the Huskies got rolling early.

“We’re trying to get our best players in the best spots to take the best shots, and I just happened to be in those best spots today,” Kallstrand said.

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In the second half, the Huskies came out sharp again with some nice shots and passes by Kallstrand and sophomore Max Steele, resulting in a 10 point lead with 5 minutes left in the third. However, the Wildcats fought back and went on a run to make the score 31-30 (Huskies) at the end of the third. As the fourth quarter wound down, the Huskies weren’t hitting enough shots. They let up too many points defensively while not capitalizing on their own opportunities, which directly led to the heartbreaking final score. Welch goes over what happened with the turnaround of the game.

“Just didn’t really play our smartest basketball. A lot of costly turnovers, myself included, [we] just got to make sure we lock in on the offensive and defensive end and just don’t make the simple mistakes that end up getting us beat,” Welch said.

This is the first game for the Huskies where they were missing star senior guard Luke Williams. Since his sports career at Naperville North is now over, he was recognized at half time for his achievements and what he gave to the sports programs in both basketball and football, as he was also the star wide receiver and cornerback for the Huskies football team. Although he is graduating this year, his contributions to the NNHS sports program will not be forgotten as he comes away with multiple records in both sports. Head coach Gene Nolan describes what it was like to not have Williams and senior Cole Arl on the court who are both out due to injury.

“We feel bad for Cole and for Luke, they’re such great kids…they will even say it’s next man up and other kids will get a chance to play and I thought for our first game without them we did some good things,” Nolan said.

The next game is on Saturday, Jan. 27 against Bolingbrook High School at 5:00 p.m. on home court. 

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About the Contributor
Zach Aigner
Zach Aigner, Staff Writer
Zach Aigner is a junior at Naperville North and is excited to begin his first year with The North Star. He is looking forward to exploring journalism through sports at the school and through stories about the area. In addition to The North Star, Zach also plays football for the Naperville North Huskies.  

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