Westside boys basketball team ready for District tournament



The boys varsity basketball team looks forward to regrouping after a tough loss to Bellevue West ahead of the district tournament.

It is now or never for the Westside boys basketball team as they host Omaha Burke on Saturday, Feb. 25 in the opening round of the A-6 District tournament. If the Warriors win they will go on to play the winner of the District semi-final between Millard South and Lincoln High next Tuesday. 

After a devastating two point loss to undefeated and top-ranked Bellevue West last Saturday, the Warriors are out for vengeance and know what they need to do to turn the tides. Bellevue West is 24-0 on the season and they have beat all of their opponents by at least ten points. That was until they played the Warriors. Westside held the Thunderbirds to a two point win in overtime 80-78.

So far this season the Warriors have been led in scoring by senior Tate Odvody and junior Kevin Stubblefeild. These two players have combined for an average of 31 points per game and were a big assist in getting them to 16-7 record. Both teammates have similar aspirations for their Westside’s success in the postseason. 

“The one goal in districts is to win, focusing one game at a time and locking into the plays that the coaches put together”, Odvody said. 

Similarly Stubblefeild believes that they can accomplish this aspiration, if they work together as a team. 

“Well for me and the team our goals are obviously winning districts and state,” Stubblefeild said. “Just holding each other accountable and making sure that we are all doing what we need to do to get better.”

Getting this far in a competitive league is not easy. You have to have a strong work ethic to make sure you stay on top. This year junior CJ Mitchell, who leads the team in assists, has been a big man for the Warriors on the court. The point guard stands at 5’ 10” and has played in 74 games since his freshman year. He has a strong work ethic that he hopes will carry him and his team to victory. 

“I like to get in the gym about three or four times a week just getting shots up and working on my craft,” Mitchell said. “In practice I try to go hard at every rep and set an example for my team so we can maximize our potential. It means a lot to come this far, especially after putting in numerous hours over the past six to eight months with my team in the offseason and also rehabbing injury ,we just hope we can go out knowing we gave it our best shot.”

Everybody on the team is very proud of how fair they have come. Competing in high school sports these days is no walk in the park. These players acknowledge that. But they also understand that they have a long way to go and the real work is only beginning to start. Stubblefield shared his thoughts on himself and his team’s progress this season. 

“It means a lot to me but  the job’s not finished yet so I am not satisfied right now,” Stubblefeild said.  “I have always thought that playing under pressure is what separates good from great. I really am looking forward to proving myself to my team and my peers in the game against Millard South.” 

Westside will tip-off against Omaha Burke at 5 p.m on Saturday, Feb. 25 at home.