Silver Hawks and Head Coach Alex Bahe Looking Forward to Rockets Rematch


Tyler Boyle

LSW boys varsity basketball will take on Lincoln Northeast at Lincoln Southwest High School at 7:30 p.m. This will be the second time the Hawks and Rockets face off this season with the first time coming on January 2, 2020 when LNE won 72-69.

Tyler Boyle, Writer/Broadcaster/Photographer

The Lincoln Southwest varsity boys basketball team will be taking on Lincoln Northeast on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 at Lincoln Southwest High School with tip off at 7:30 p.m.

This will be a rematch of a battle between the Hawks and Rockets held in the Heartland Athletic Conference (HAC) tournament on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2020. Southwest fell to Northeast 72-69 in that game, while allowing three different Rocket players (Junior, Jake Bard; Senior, Carson Busch; and Junior; Pierce Bazil) to combine to score 61 points.

The dominant performances from the three players left a sour taste in Southwest team’s mouths, and they believe they can make some adjustments to force Bard, Busch, and Bazil off their games.

“It isn’t that we didn’t know it was going to be those three guys we have to stop, but we just have to do a better job of doing it,” said LSW’s head basketball coach, Alex Bahe. “I think we just need to take the task [of guarding the Northeast trio] a little more seriously than we did and step up to the challenge. I think we respected them and knew that they could score but clearly we didn’t put enough effort into them.”

However, there were some bright spots the last time the Rockets and Hawks faced off. Southwest was led in scoring by three sophomores and a freshman, an uncommon stat found when looking at Class A boys varsity basketball in Nebraska.

“I think we have a young group that is capable of making shots,” said Bahe. “And what makes this group powerful and unique is not that [sophomore guard, Jared Bohrer, the leading scorer for the young Silver Hawks] can consistently score but it is that we have so many guys that are capable of getting into double figures on any given night.”

This is a facet of this year’s team that Bahe and the coaching staff has taken note of and made an effort to insert into their system.

“From my perspective, we have to keep guys fresh in the rotation, playing that deep bench, giving that freedom for players to play aggressive, and making sure we get out and are pushing in transition,” said Bahe. “That way, other teams can’t just key on Jared Bohrer and Brayton Christenson [Southwest’s top two scorers] and have to account for everybody… and I think our system lends itself to that.”

Another crucial part to LSW being successful against Northeast will be playing a full 32 minutes. Throughout the season, the Silver Hawks have struggled with stringing together four good quarters of basketball. They have had several games where one quarter the Hawks let the other team go on a big run, then struggle to come back. 

This has been seen in Southwest’s recent games such as Pius X and Papillion-La Vista South, but was also an issue the last time LSW played Northeast. On that January 2nd matchup, it was the third quarter where the Rockets outscored the Hawks 21-15 which helped expand a 29-26 halftime Rockets lead to a 50-41 lead for Northeast.

Coach Bahe and his staff has recognized this issue but believes this is another component of being such a young team. However, he is not letting that be an excuse for the Hawks.

“I don’t care how young we are, we have to be to defend with consistency for 32 minutes… we have to execute our offense for 32 minutes. “And the frustrating part for this team is we have proven time and time again we can do this for a full 32 minutes against top-level opponents. So there is no reason other than a habit in our mindset that we can’t be consistent for four quarters instead of three.”

And that is what coach Bahe’s focus is on for this team: mindset.

“With this team the question is not about capability, it’s a question of consistency. And that falls on, I think our guys’ mindset,” said Bahe. “And certainly I can do some things and our staff and I, we can put our heads together to think about these things of how we can help the team become more consistent, but I think it starts and stops with a consistent mindset and execution of the game plan on both sides of the floor.”

But again, Coach Bahe and his staff think this team’s mindset and energy has shifted in the right direction as the season has progressed. This is due to, this past off-season and this season the staff has focused on instilling the three program standards for Lincoln Southwest boys basketball: Work Ethic, Transition, and Communication. Over the past couple weeks the team has really focused on communication.

“Our work ethic in practice has been really good… This team’s strength is our ability to score in space and as we continue to get better I do think transition is a strength of ours,” said Coach Bahe. “Communication has been the challenge and I think that is where we get our energy from. So we have made a big emphasis over the past couple weeks on communication when you’re on the floor, on the bench, how you communicate verbally and body language, and how you are mindful about communication and I do think the way we communicate and give energy to each other has improved over the last few weeks.”

However, Coach Bahe is looking for this team to take the next step in improving in their team’s communication over the course of the next few weeks.

“It’s easy to be great communicators when things are going well,” said Bahe. “Where this team still needs to grow is when the opponent goes on a run, we’re not getting shots to fall, what is our communication and energy look like in those moments?”

Furthermore, Coach Bahe thinks Northeast will provide them the right opportunities to improve in their communication in this way.

“I think that is going to be interesting to see if we respond to runs and tough shots by Northeast.” said Bahe. “What is our body language and communication in moments where Northeast goes on a run or we can’t buy a bucket? I think it will be a key difference in whether we win or lose the game.”

Again, the Silver Hawks will be taking on the Rockets this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 at Lincoln Southwest High School at 7:30 p.m. where you can see who wins round two of Hawks vs. Rockets.