Bears set to roar into Districts this weekend.

Defending the hoop, senior Matt Tut blocks the shot. The team ended up losing to the Dragons 57-39 on January 31.

Olivia Wallace, Managing Editor

As the regular season comes to a close, the Bears shift their focus to the upcoming district games. The road to State is not easy, but the team will do anything and everything to secure their spot.  

“We just need two good nights and get on a hot streak here to go to state,” head coach Galen Gullie said. “You know, with the guys we have, we are more than capable of getting the job done. We just have to make sure we are locked in from the beginning to the end of the game.”  

The team struggled with their defensive game this season.  

“Some of the difficulties we have faced was playing defensively and not talking where our spots are at on defense,” sophomore center A’mare Bynum said. “We have worked on it during practice a lot and our growth should show in districts.”  

Team members shared that they tried to play their best in each game but weren’t entirely consistent. Some games they were overly confident going into and others they doubted themselves.  

“We took easier games on our schedule, way too light, and paid for it,” junior forward Rylan Rodriguez said. “Every time we played a team that wasn’t as good, we didn’t play hard. We thought that Buena Vista was going to be easy and didn’t give our best effort.”  

The team has been working extra hard after the regular season ended with a 49-56 upset to Norris High School. The Bears went into that game with an “easy” win against Buena Vista the day before with the score ending 82-35. They thought Norris would be easy to defeat.  

“The coaching staff has just been elevating the team lately after our loss against Norris,” Rodriguez added. “They know we can do and be better, they want to try and push us to greatness. We have potential but it didn’t show against Norris.”  

The Bears will travel to Lincoln North Star on Saturday for their first round in districts. A win against Lincoln will give the Bears an opportunity for a rematch with the Dragons of Gretna on Monday. The Bears lost to the Dragons 39-57.   

“Every team we play is beatable,” Rodriguez said. “Our hardest opponent is really ourselves. If we come together against Gretna we will come on top with a win.”   

Looking at the North Star’s stats, they have the Bears beat. They beat all the schools that the Bears lost to in regular season play, does not include the Dragons. 

“We are just focused on one game at a time,” Bynum added. “If we can beat North Star, I think we can have a good rematch against Gretna.”  

The road to victory is difficult but the Bears have high hopes that they can make it to State. All their preparations are becoming a reality.  

“No hard work, no big shirt,” sophomore point guard Amir Martin said. “Coach Gullie has said that to us a lot lately and I think it means, if you don’t work hard, you don’t receive the big prizes.” 

The battle for Class A championship trophy starts Saturday. Tipoff for the first round is at 3 p.m. at Lincoln North Star High School.

Looking through a players eyes, head coach Galen Gullie sees the stress senior Elijah Mccullough is under. The team ended the game against the Dragons 39-57 on January 31. (Olivia Wallace)
Seeing an open spot on the court, sophomore Deon Darnell goes up for the basket. The team defeated Omaha Northwest 82-62 on February 14. (Olivia Wallace)