Falling behind early, the Gardner Edgerton High School Blazer varsity boys basketball team dropped a 68-50 decision to visiting Blue Valley North, Feb. 14.
North moved to 13-3 and remains undefeated in the Eastern Kansas League behind the 24-point performance of junior forward Cooper Cook. Senior Jawan Emery added 17 points.
Early on, GEHS stayed with North fueled by Junior Kyle Hultgren. Hultgren paced the Blazers with 16 points.
The Blazers made a couple of second half rallies but a 9-0, North fourth-quarter run sealed GEHS’ fate.
Earlier in the week, the Blazers lost a heartbreaking 56-50 decision to Blue Valley in overtime.
GEHS looked to have command taking an early 13-7 first-quarter lead. By halftime, the Blazers were up 24-20. But Blue Valley forced overtime with 25, second-half points. Once in OT, the Tigers outscored GEHS 11-5 to take the EKL victory.
“I was real disappointed in the way we played versus Blue Valley,” said Coach Jeff Langrehr. “We missed too many scoring opportunities in the paint, and it seemed like a game we were not destined to win. Blue Valley out-hustled us at key times and made big shots in OT.”
Despite the loss, Hultgren led with 16 points while point guard Brett Wright added nine points. Traevohn Wrench had eight points, Will Cook, five, Josh Lang, six, and Sean Callahan, five points.
One night later, Langrehr guided his group to a near upset of ranked Blue Valley Northwest.
“For three quarters we played the best basketball of the season,” said Langrehr.  “We were active and alert on defense, rebounded with great effort, and executed on offense well.”
GEHS trailed 18-14 after one quarter, and just 35-31 at intermission. Back came the Blazers with a 22-9, third-quarter run to take a 53-44 heading into the fourth frame.
“It was real encouraging to hold an eleven-point lead in the third quarter versus the best team in the state in their home floor,” added Langrehr.
However, Northwest regrouped and salvaged victory with a 26-9 fourth-quarter run.
“They began to shoot the ball better, and we committed some turnovers. Northwest was real good at the line late,” said Langrehr.
The loss failed to overshadow a season-high 28 points performance from Josh Lang. Hultgren added 12 points, and Traevohn Wrench, 10 points. Wright had nine points and Will Cook, four points.
Now 6-9, the Blazers get back to action this week with the Blue Valley Tigers.