The Metro Holiday Tournament has a new home at Baxter Arena and a new rule: a 35-second shot clock.
Jacob Padilla posted up court side all day on Tuesday to bring you coverage from both the girls and the boys quarterfinals.
No. 1 Millard South 77, No. 8 Omaha Benson 53
Millard South’s pressure defense forced all kinds of problems for the Bunnies as the Patriots forced 12 turnovers and put together runs of 11-0 and 8-0 to put together a 22-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Benson settled in during the second quarter and won the period 18-17, but Millard South won the third and fourth quarters and cruised to a comfortable victory despite foul trouble to most of its starting lineup.
Senior sharpshooter Megan Belt led all scorers with 21 points including 6-of-10 from deep. Senior Khloe Lemon added 18 points on 7-of-10 from the field and 4-of-7 from the foul line, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Senior Mya Babbitt added 14 points while senior Lexi Finkenbiner chipped in nine points and eight boards including four on the offensive end.
Nataya Lockett was the only Bunny in double figures with 13 points and four steals. Benson turned the ball over 27 times and shot 43% from the field.
The Patriots move on to Wednesday’s semifinal at 3:30 p.m.
No. 1 Millard South: 22-17-20-18 — 77
No. 8 Omaha Benson: 6-18-16-13 — 53
MS: Megan Belt 21, Khloe Lemon 18, Mya Babbitt 14, Lexi Finkenbiner 9, Juliana Jones 9, Miranda Kelly 6
OB: Nataya Lockett 13, Shyanne Mayhue 9, JeSani Green 9, Zakiyah Muhammad 8, Lelani Carter 7, Ahmani Klabunde 6, Jerrica Coleman 1
No. 5 Bellevue East 54, No. 4 Gretna 42
The Chieftains shout out the Dragons in the first quarter, 11-0, and kept that cushion throughout the game for a double-digit win.
Gretna’s first point came on a free throw with 6:19 to play in the second quarter, and its first field goal came at the 5:14 mark. Bellevue East led 18-3 before the Dragons scored the last five of the half to make it 18-8.
The Dragons settled in offensively and began attacking the basket relentlessly, but the Chieftains did the same led by Riley Jensen who had 10 in the quarter as Bellevue East built a 36-25 lead heading into the fourth and then cruised to the finish.
Jensen finished with 25 points on 8-of-11 from the field and 9-of-10 from the line. Mya Skoff added 16 points.
Sophomore Allison Marshall led the Dragons with 13 points off the bench while Sydney Zabloudil added 10.
Bellevue East will face Millard South on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in the semifinals.
No. 4 Gretna: 0-8-17-17 — 42
No. 5 Bellevue East: 11-7-18-14 — 54
G: Allison Marshall 13, Sydney Zabloudil 10, Grace Huntwork 8, Jenna Marshall 7, Aidan Pohlman 4
BE: Riley Jensen 25, Mya Skoff 16, Baylee Egan 7, Mackenzie Reimer 3, Caitlyn Conover 2, RyLee McLucas 1
No. 6 Millard North 47, No. 3 Bellevue West 46
The Thunderbirds looked to be in good shape late, leading by seven with 95 seconds left. Then Darian Winkelbauer knocked down a pair of 3s, sparking a 10-2 finish by the Mustangs to steal the victory.
WInkelbauer’s 3s made it a three-point game, then Millard North forced a turnover with its pressure and Sara Harley hit a pair of bonus free throws for her first points to make it a one point game. Millard North forced another turnover with less than 30 seconds to play.
The Mustangs worked the clock down, attacked the basket against Bellevue West’s 2-3 zone and threw up a shot that sailed long, but Avril Smith snub along the baseline and grabbed the rebound, drawing a foul as she tried to put it back up and in with 0.9 to play. Smith knocked down both shots to secure the win and send the third-seeded Thunderbirds home early.
Smith led Millard North with 10 points and nine rebounds. Megan Chambers matched her with 10 points on 4-of-6 from the field and 2-of-3 from the line. Winkelbauer shot 3-of-6 from deep for nine points.
Millard North jumped out to a 10-2 lead, then after Bellevue West had taken the lead the Mustangs closed the half on a 9-0 run to lead 25-18 at the break.
Bellevue West pulled ahead 35-30 by the end of the third and led throughout the fourth quarter until Millard North’s final push. The Thunderbirds had seven turnovers in the fourth quarter and 19 for the game.
Taryn Wharton led all scorer with 14 points, four assists and four steals while Ahnica Russell-Brown added 13 points on 4-of-8 from the field and 4-of-5 from deep.
No. 3 Bellevue West: 11-7-17-11 — 46
No. 6 Millard North: 12-13-5-17 — 47
No. 2 Omaha Central 74, No. 7 Omaha Westside 55
Westside junior Lucy Schonlau put up 14 in the first quarter to keep the Warriors in the game, but the Eagles held Westside to two points on 1-of-10 shooting in the second quarter to build up a 21-point lead at halftime before cruising through the second half.
The Warriors caught fire from deep in the third quarter, shooting 6-of-10 from deep, but it was too little, too late to get them back in the game.
Aaniya Webb led the Eagles with 22 points, 4 assists and three steals and had all four of Central’s made 3-pointers (on eight attempts). Texas A&M volleyball commit Ital Lopuyo added 20 points on 9-of-11 from the field and 2-of-2 from the line, 13 rebounds (nine offensive) and five blocks.
Schonlau showed off a variety of moves in the paint and off the dribble to finish with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting including 1-of-2 from deep and 2-of-3 from the line, 15 rebounds and two blocks. Chainey Thompson added 14 points off the bench on 5-of-6 from the field including 4-5 from 3.
The Eagles will face the Mustangs on Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. in the semifinals.
No. 2 Omaha Central: 22-19-17-16 — 74
No. 7 Omaha Westside: 18- 2-21-14 — 55
OC: Aaniya Webb 22, Ital Lopuyo 20, Aniah Wayne 10, Claire Williams 8, Inia Jones 4, Pierre-Noelle Tcheuhchoua 4, Alahna Davis 4, Lilliana DeLeon-Peterson 2, Kiara Baptise 2
OW: Lucy Schonlau 23, Chainey Thompson 14, Kimora Jenkins 9, Adriana Prima 3, Olivia Kraft 3, Elaine Wiles 3
No. 1 Bellevue West 83, No. 9 Gretna 58
The Thunderbirds put on a shooting display in the first boys game of the day, shooting a blistering 14-of-26 (53.8%) from 3 and nearly 60% overall in a 25-point win.
Junior point guard Josiah Dotzler pushed the tempo and found shooters all day, finishing with a career-high 12 assists to go with his seven points. South Dakota State signee William Kyle III led the way with 15 points on 7-of-7 shooting, seven rebounds and two blocks. Senior Evan Inselman added 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting (2-of-2 from 3) and five boards. TK Barnett chipped in with 11 off the bench, shooting 3-of-4 from 3 and 2-of-2 from the line.
Sophomore guard Landon Pokorski did what he could to keep the Dragons in it, scoring nine in the first quarter and 14 of Gretna’s 25 in the first half, but the Thunderbirds hit nearly as many 3s (eight) as Gretna did field goals (10).
Pokorski finished with a game-high 20 on 7-of-15 from the field (2-of-4 from 3) and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line, four assists two steals and two blocks. Sophomore Alec Wilkins added 14 on 4-of-7 from the field and 6-of-7 from the line, seven rebounds and five assists.
No. 1 Bellevue West: 21-20-24-18 — 83
No. 9 Gretna: 13-12-16-17 — 58
BW: William Kyle III 15, Evan Inselman 14, TK Barnett 11, Jaden Jackson 9, Jaxon Stueve 9, Josiah Dotzler 7, Eldon Turner 6, John Mitchell 6, Jadyn Cascio-Jensen 6
G: Landon Pokorski 20, Alec Wilkins 14, Grant Jansen 9, Michael Stukenholtz 5, Jeff Rozelle 4, Alex Wilcoxson 2, Wes Frost 2, Ty Smolinski 2
No. 5 Omaha Central 58, No. 4 Omaha Creighton Prep 53
Omaha Central broke a tie early in the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run and held off a late Junior Jay rally to advance to the semifinals.
Central opened the game with a 9-0 run and led most of the way until Prep surged ahead for the first time late in the third quarter. The lead didn’t last long as a steal and score from Loyola (Chicago) commit Jay Dawson put Central ahead 38-37 at the end of the third.
Prep tied it up at 41-all early in the fourth, but the Eagles answered with 3s from DeOmbre Brodie and Dawson and a pair of free throws from PJ Davis to pull ahead 49-41.
Prep played catch-up the rest of the way, and a dunk from Martel Evans cut the deficit all the way down to three with 33 seconds left, but the Eagles hit their free throws the rest of the way and Prep could get no closer.
Dawson finished with 22 points on 8-of-14 from the field and 5-of-6 from the line, five rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Davis added 11 points, shooting 5-of-6 from the line, and five assists. J’Dyn Bullion chipped in nine points on 3-of-5 shooting and eight rebounds.
After a quiet first half, Evans came alive in the second to match Dawson with 22 points and six rebounds. Joey Rieschl added 12 points on 4-of-9 from deep, but the rest of the Junior Jays combined to shoot 0-of-9 from 3.
The Eagles advanced to the semifinals where they’ll face Bellevue West at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
No. 4 Omaha Creighton Prep: 11-11-15-16 — 53
No. 5 Omaha Central: 17-16- 5-20 — 58
OCP: Martel Evans 22, Joey Rieschl 12, Luke Jungers 9, Casey O’Malley 4, PJ new bill 4, Josh Townley 2
OC: Jay Dawson 22, PJ Davis 11, J’Dyn Bullion 9, DeOmbre Brodie 6, Keah Paljor 5, Awit Mamer 3, Quinton Butts 2
No. 3 Omaha Westside 66, No. 6 Elkhorn South 46
Offense was a struggled for both teams in the first half as Elkhorn South led 10-8 after one and Westside pulled ahead 26-25 after the second. The Warriors picked up the intensity after halftime, however, and ran away with it in the second half.
Westside opened the third quarter with a 13-3 run capped by Chandler Meeks picking his man’s pocket in the backcourt and taking it in for a slam and then a 3-pointer from Payson Gillespie. Elkhorn South shot 2-of-13 from the field and turned the ball over six times as Westside took a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter and stretched it out to 20.
Junior Tate Odvody led all scorers with 16 points on 5-of-9 from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line while sophomore CJ Mitchell provided a spark in the second quarter with 15 points on 6-of-9 from the field (2-of-4 from 3) and 1-of-2 from the line. Gillespie finished with 11 points, all in the second half, and eight rebounds.
Caden Peterson was the only member of the Storm with 10 points, five rebounds and five steals. Henry Burt added nine points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
No. 3 Omaha Westside: 8-18-19-21 — 66
No. 6 Elkhorn South: 10-15- 9-12 — 46
OW: Tate Odvody 16, CJ Mitchell 15, Payson Gillespie 11, Chandler Meeks 8, Reggie Thomas 8, Logan Wilson 3, Caleb Benning 3, Kevin Stubblefield 2
ES: Caden Peterson 10, Henry Burt 9, Alec Noonan 8, Chase Anderson 5, Evan Werner 5, Jackson Moeller Swan 3, Evan Hill 3, Caden Stone 2, Carson Chochon 1
No. 2 Millard North 74, No. 10 Papillion-La Vista 35
Millard North held Papillion-La Vista to 30% shooting and forced 20 turnovers in a dominant defensive showing to close out the day. The Mustangs held the Monarchs to single digits in three of the four quarters and 10 players scored for Millard.
The highlight of the game was the first few minutes of the game as senior David Harmon threw down three different dunks — a one-handed slam in transition, a two-handed flush on a cut down the lane in the half court and a windmill in transition — in the first few minutes of the period. He finished with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-11 from the field and 3-of-3 from the line with five rebounds.
Creighton commit Jasen Green added 12 points on 5-of-9 from the field (1-of-1 from 3) and 1-of-1 from the foul line, nine rebounds (five offensive) and two steals. Senior Jakson Page and sophomore Isaiah McMorris scored nine points apiece on a combined 7-of-12 shooing.
The Mustangs will face Omaha Westside at 8:45 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals.
No. 2 Millard North: 19-17-18-20 — 74
No. 10 Papillion-La Vista: 6- 9-12- 8 — 35
MN: David Harmon 17, Jasen Green 12, Jakson Page 9, Isaiah McMorris 9, Nick Dolezal 6, Devin Wilson 6, Camden Monie 6, Elijah Gaeth 4, Neal Mosser 3, Sam Lootens 2
PLV: Kyle Ingwerson 9, Luke Lindenmeyer 8, Spencer Smith 5, Brock Rahl 5, Keegan Hylok 3, Will Hubert 2, Garin Marley 2, Christian Fuentes Valdez 1
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.