After a winning game against Athens, the Bellevue boy’s varsity basketball team jumped from 7th in the state for class D ball, to 2nd in the state. With a 14-0 record, the Broncos have been a tough challenge for the competition this season, and plan to continue that toughness for the next six games. Head coach, Joe Costello, attributes their streak to some of the best defense he’s seen in his years coaching in Bellevue.
“We’re very good defensively. We put pressure on these teams. If you don’t have a couple of guards who can handle the ball you’ll get a lot of turnovers and steals,” said Costello.
Strong defense is part of Costello’s coaching philosophy. With nearly the exact lineup he had in the last season, his boys are well used to his heavy defensive strategy. He only had one graduating senior from the previous year, and at the end of the 2018 school year he’ll have to four boys graduating. Last year the team went 23-2, and this year he thinks the strong defense will bring them out on top.
“I try to tell the kids all the time, offense comes and goes, but hustle in defense can always be there. It’s the one constant,” said Costello.
Athens was 11-2 coming into the game against the Broncos, and Costello’s boys finished the game 69-49. Of the 14 games the team has played so far, 12 of those games the Broncos held their opposition under 40 points. The team currently averages 65 points per game, with an average 31-point victory.
While the defense is undeniably a factor in the Bronco’s winning streak, the team has a few key scorers this season. Junior Wyatt Waterbury is the lead scorer with an average of 16 points per game, while close behind are Carson Betz with an average of 11 per game and Gino Costello with an average of 10 per game. All three students received honorable mentions at either the state or league levels.
The Broncos are set to play next against Hillsdale Academy, which Costello noted will be a significant challenge.
“Hillsdale will be a strong test on Friday. Friday will be a big deal.”
Consistency is what Costello really requires of his boys. They’ve had consistent defense this season, and the consistency is as important as any strategy or any play.
“Just be consistent in what you do. Take the shots you know you can make,” says Costello to his players. “If we do that, we’ll do pretty great.”