You've got to go back a long way — Feb. 28, 2008, to be exact — to find the last time something happened to the Seward girls basketball team.
It's the last time the Bluejays lost a game.
Since then, coach Tom Tvrdy's teams have rattled off 101 straight wins and captured four consecutive Class B titles. Seward enters this season with a chance to break the state record for consecutive wins — 111, set by West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic from 2001 to '06.
“People ask about the win streak all the time,” Tvrdy said. “But for us, it's always a concentration on the next practice and the next game.”
The top-ranked Bluejays enter this season without four graduated seniors from last year's 26-0 squad, including All-Nebraska point guard Beth Bohuslavsky. She started every game since her freshman year and never lost during her four-year varsity career.
“There's no question we're going to miss some players from last year,” Tvrdy said. “But we have a group of seven seniors who were in regular rotations last season and a lot of younger kids who have been waiting their turn.”
Top returnees for Seward are a pair of seniors — Tvrdy's daughter Hannah and forward Kourteney Zadina. Hannah Tvrdy, a Nebraska recruit, averaged a team-high 15.6 points last season at shooting guard while Northern Colorado recruit Zadina averaged 13.6 points and 6.2 rebounds.
Hannah Tvrdy will handle the point guard duties this year, but the 6-foot-2 Zadina also is a good ballhandler who is comfortable bringing the ball downcourt.
Senior guards Taylor Seaman and Sierra Roth saw a lot of varsity action last season and will be counted on even more this year.
“I think we have a chance to be a better shooting team,” Tom Tvrdy said. “And our depth should be one of our strengths.”
To say a team is going to shoot better than one that averaged almost 69 points last season is saying something. But Tvrdy, in his 12th season as coach, said the Bluejays will need to be at their best to handle a tough schedule.
“This is by far the most difficult schedule we've had since I've been here,” the coach said. “We've got so many heavyweights that it's going to be really, really hard to go unscathed.”
Seward, which hasn't lost since a first-round state tournament setback against Elkhorn during the 2007-08 season, will play three ranked foes — No. 7 Grand Island Northwest, No. 2 Norris and No. 3 Elkhorn South — in just the first few weeks of December.
That leads up to the competitive Grand Island Northwest tournament and an early January road game against No. 6 Beatrice, last year's Class B runner-up.
“We're going to try to make another run at the title,” Tvrdy said. “It's going to be a challenge, but our girls are looking forward to that.”
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