The Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs played host to the 15th annual MAC Shootout Border Battle pitting teams from Nebraska against squads from Iowa on Friday and Saturday.
GBB: Bellevue West 43, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln (IA) 38
Bellevue West junior point guard Taryn Wharton has been one of the best players in the Metro so far this season, and the Northern Iowa commit continued that streak of strong play on Friday night at the Mid-America Center to lead the Thunderbirds to victory.
Wharton finished with 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting (3-of-8 from 3) and 2-of-4 from the foul line with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Junior forward Dani Peterson added 14 points while shooting 6-of-10 from the field and grabbing nine rebounds.
Abraham Lincoln pounded the ball inside early while Bellevue West relied on the 3-point line and transition basketball. Wharton scored nine points in the first quarter with three triples while Peterson took over in the second with eight, but the Lynx managed to keep pace thanks to a combined 15 points from posts Kayla Schleifman and Baylie Girres.
Bellevue West led 25-24 at halftime, then Wharton scored seven straight to open the third quarter. However, the Lynx outscored the T-Birds 10-3 spanning the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth to cut the deficit to one. Peterson scored three straight, but Lincoln responded with a 3-pointer from Jacee Tindall.
Tough buckets by Emma Crisman and Wharton put West up by four with 2:30 to play and the Thunderbirds managed to hang on despite leaving points at the free-throw line thanks to their stout defense. West held Lincoln to 0-for-9 inside the arc with eight turnovers in the second half.
Schleifman led the Lynx with 11 points and 13 rebounds while Girres added 10 points and five boards.
BBB: Bellevue West 74, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln (IA) 72
Friday’s nightcap looked to be heading towards blowout status as Wisconsin signee Chucky Hepburn hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put Bellevue West up 12 at halftime, then the Thunderbirds opened the second half with an 11-0 run capped by a steal and breakaway drunk apiece from Greg Brown and Frankie Fidler.
Despite falling behind 53-30, Abraham Lincoln wasn’t ready to call it a night. Junior Josh Dix, a 6-foot-4 guard with a handful of Division I offers, knocked down a 3 that sparked an 11-2 Lynx run to make it a game again. Hepburn picked up his fourth foul with 2:08 to play in the third and had to take a seat. Lincoln continued to chip away at the lead after that, trimming Bellevue West’s lead down to nine at 57-48.
Senior forward Christian Tidiane was the driving force behind the comeback, scoring 11 points in the third quarter.
Hepburn continued to sit to start the fourth quarter and Lincoln continued to chip away at the lead. The Lynx scored 10 of the first 12 points of the period with Dix accounting for seven of those himself.
Hepburn checked back in with 5:36 to go before Dix’s 3 that cut the deficit to one. Lincoln fouled him and Hepburn split the free throws, then sophomore Josiah Dotzler stole the ball and took it all the way for a layup to put West back up four. The difference bounced back and forth from one to two possessions the rest of the way. With 22.3 seconds to go and Lincoln trailing by four, JR Knauss drew a foul on a rebound and split the bonus shots. Noah Sandbothe grabbed the offensive board, then after a timeout Dix took it to the basket for a quick two, cutting it to one with 11.4 to go.
Lincoln put Hepburn back at the line and he buried both shots, making it a three-point game. Abraham Lincoln put the ball in Dix’s hands, and he got off a look from 3, but it didn’t fall. Dotzler grabbed the rebound and got fouled with 1.3 to go and sank both free throws to seal it, though Dix did bank in a shot at the buzzer from the opposite 3-point line.
Fidler, an Omaha signee, led all scorers with 27 points including 13 in the first quarter. He shot 8-of-15 from the field (4-of-7 from 3) and 7-of-7 from the foul line with seven rebounds and three steals. Hepburn added 17 points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals. Kyle converted all five of his field goal attempts including a couple of dunks and finished with 11 points and three blocks. Brown chipped in 10 points, four assists and three steals.
Dix, who put up 32 points in a close loss to Millard North on Tuesday, led the Lynx with 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Tidiane finished with 17 points, five rebounds and three steals while Jamison Gruber matched him with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Sandbothe chipped in 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and five rebounds.
>> BBB: Omaha Christian Academy 54, Heartland Christian (IA) 38
>> GBB: Omaha Roncalli 52, Council Bluffs Thomas Anderson (IA) 29
>> Nebraska City 56, Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson (IA) 45
Check back for updates from Saturday’s games.
GBB: Fremont 77, Glenwood (IA) 73
A career-high 37 points for 2022 Iowa commit Taylor McCabe carried the Tigers past a sharp-shooting Glenwood team late on Saturday afternoon.
Glenwood scorched the nets in the first half shooting 7-of-15 from deep to take a 37-31 lead into halftime. McCabe took over form there, however. Fremont hit 10 of its first 11 shots in the third quarter to pull ahead 53-48. Glenwood tied it up at 55-all and 58-all before McCabe hit a step-back 3 just before the buzzer, capping a 17-point quarter and giving Fremont a 61-58 lead after three. McCabe made every shot she took (three 2s, three 3s and two free throws).
Coryl Matheny scored the first four points of the fourth to give Glenwood the lead, but Fremont responded with a 7-0 run.Glenwood continued to fire away from the perimeter and managed to cut the deficit down to one at 72-71 with 45.1 to play, but McCabe sealed the game at the line, going 5-for-6 in the last 25 seconds.
McCabe shot 12-of-25 from the field, 4-of-10 from deep and 9-of-11 from the foul line. Charli Earth scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds while McKenna Murphy chipped in 12 points off the bench on 5-of-7 shooting (2-of-4 from 3).
Madison Camden led Glenwood with 15 points, Emma Hughes added 13 and Matheny chipped in 12 and nine rebounds. Ell Scarborough rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points and five rebounds. As a team, the Rams shot 13-of-29 (44.8%), but it wasn’t enough to keep up with McCabe and the Tigers.
BBB: Glenwood 75 (IA), Plattsmouth 60
Wayne State commit Ryan Blum shot 1-for-8 and scored two points in the first quarter. The Rams and Blue Devils were knotted at 11-all after one period.
Blum finished with 33 points on 13-of-22 from the field (4-of-8 from 3) and 3-of-5 from the line with a team-high seven rebounds as the Rams steadily pulled away in the last three quarters to secure the first win for an Iowa team over a Nebraska squad in this year’s event.
Glenwood led 34-27 at halftime, but the Blue Devils opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run to tie it up. After a Blum 3, Plattsmouth pulled ahead 39-37. Then the Rams ripped off 15 straight to take control and carried a 56-48 lead into the final frame. The Blue Devils cut it all the way down to four at 63-59 with less than four minutes to play, but Glenwood closed the game on a 12-1 run.
Ben Hughes added 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting including 4-of-6 from deep while Caden Johnson chipped in 12 points, six steals, four rebounds and four assists.
Jack Alexander led the Blue Devils with 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting (4-of-7 from 3) and 4-of-5 foul shooting with six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Dakota Minshall added 10 points on 4-of-7 from the field while 6-foot-8 senior Hayden Stromsodt grabbed 12 rebounds, scored seven points and blocked four shots. Sixteen turnovers proved to be too much to overcome with the way Blum shot the ball in the last three quarters.
GBB: Omaha Skutt 63, Council Bluffs Lewis Central (IA) 34
A couple hours after her older sister Taylor set a new career-high for Fremont, Skutt freshman guard Peyton McCabe set a school record for 3-pointers by shooting 7-of-12 for 21 points as the SkyHawks blew out the Titans.
Senior Cece Behrens matched McCabe with 21 points and added seven rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals. Nebraska volleyball signee Lindsay Krause chipped in 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and seven rebounds (five offensive).
Skutt jumped out to a 9-0 start and a 17-8 lead after one quarter. Krause picked up her second foul at the 6:41 mark and took a seat, but the Titans still couldn’t find a way to crack the SkyHawks’ defenses even without the 6-foot-4 senior protecting the rim. Lewis Central didn’t score its first bucket of the second quarter until there were 33 seconds left in the half. Skutt led 25-11 at halftime, then stretched that lead to 45-19 after three before cruising through the fourth.
KcKenna Petterpier led the Titans with 13 points and six rebounds.
BBB: Council Bluffs Lewis Central (IA) 52, Elkhorn North 48, OT
Thirty-two minutes wasn’t enough to determine the final game of the Shootout thanks to some late heroics by Elkhorn North junior Brandon Orgilbold.
— Jacob Padilla (@JacobPadilla_) January 10, 2021
Orgilbold’s step-back 3 sent the game to overtime, but it only delayed the inevitable as Lewis Central pulled ahead again and held on this time to pick up win No. 2 for Iowa. The Titans switched between multiple zone defenses throughout the game, but just two days after shooting 11-of-23 from deep in a win over BRLD the Wolves couldn’t get anything to fall. Elkhorn North shot 5-of-31 from 3 and 7-of-15 from the free-throw line in the four-point loss.
Elkhorn North jumped out to a 20-13 lead, then went ice cold. Lewis Central put together a 12-0 run spanning the second and third quarters to pull ahead 25-22. Orgilbold finally ended the drought with an athletic mid-air put-back, but Lewis Central continued to pull away with a 7-1 run. Nathan Cunningham got a layup to go down to make it 32-25 after three.
Elkhorn North chipped away at the lead throughout the fourth quarter with key buckets by Orgilbold, Cunningham, Carson Ripley and Jack Lusk. Trailing by four with 42.6 to play, Paxon Piatkowski drew a foul on a rebound and split the bonus free throws to make it 44-41 with 28.5 to go. The Wolves picked up the pressure even more and forced a travel with 16.6 to play, setting up Orgilbold’s 3 to tie it.
The teams traded buckets to open overtime before Lewis Central pulled ahead by four as North’s shooting struggles continued. Orgilbold finally ended the Wolves’ drought with a bucket plus a foul to cut the lead in half, but he missed the free throw. Piatkowski grabbed the board but had it knocked away before he could go back up with it and Lewis Central knocked down a pair of free throws with 4.2 left to seal it.
Orglbold led all scorers with 19 points, but he was the only Wolf in double figures. Cunningham scored eight points before fouling out while Piatkowski corralled 11 rebounds to go with his six points.
Devin Nailor knocked down nine of his 10 free throws and led the Titans with 13 points including four in overtime. Wyatt Hatcher added 11 points and six rebounds.
Nebraska won the battle against Iowa 7-2 with the Nebraska girls going 4-0 in the event.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.