The student news site of Omaha North High Magnet School

The North Star

The student news site of Omaha North High Magnet School

The North Star

The student news site of Omaha North High Magnet School

The North Star

Boys basketball makes history

With six seconds left in the game, Papillion La-Vista South High School missed the shot that would bring the teams to overtime, and that is when the North High School Basketball team realized they would continue to the state tournament. 

North’s basketball team played against Papio South on February 27, 2024, winning with just a three-point difference at 61 points and Papio South at 58 points.  

The following week on March 6, 2024, the boys continued to the tournament at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln against Central High School. The final score was 62 to 72 with Central winning. 

Although the boys lost, this is the first time in ten years that the boys basketball team made it to the state playoffs and only the fourth time in over 30 years. 

Head coach Thomas Liechti has been head coach at North for six years and even played in high school. He does not believe that the team would have made it as far as they did in their season without the mental perseverance that the boys showed throughout the season.  

“If you are on the team obviously you are talented, but I think the key to our success [this season] has been the mentality they have shown,” Liechti said. 

During the fall, the boys would show up to six in the morning practices every day and continued the hard work through the season. They stayed motivated, continued practicing and pushed themselves to the highest extent. 

“They are tough and they battle, they are gritty and it is just a product of us building a culture here,” Assistant Varsity Coach Justin Fickel said. 

Fickel has played basketball since his time at Bryan High School. He has been coaching for the past 11 years and has spent most of that time at North High School. 

Fickel has worked with many players throughout the years and watching them go farther in the tournament has made him proud. 

“It is great to see those kids be able to succeed,” Fickel said. “I am just happy and I am proud of them.” 

Aside from working for themselves, the boys also spend a lot of time as a team, not just giving up over the little things. 

“They are really together,” Lietchi said. “They fight through adversity, they don’t blink when something bad happens, they just keep going, there is no quitting them.” 

The coaches are constantly pushing the players to find their confidence within the game and their selves. 

“You can find your confidence by doing what you are supposed to do persistently, over time, consistently and routinely,” Lietchi said. 

Now that the basketball team knows that success can be achieved through hard work, it proves that if they set their mind to it and take the steps to get things done, they will be able to do that for the rest of their life.  


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Angie Twombly
Angie Twombly, Editor-in-Chief
My name is Angie Twombly, and I am a senior this year. What I am most excited about in Newspaper is creating a solid foundation for future writers of the North Star. A fun fact about me is that a story I produced was published on national news. 

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