The basketball talent in Nebraska is on the rise, and all season long, Hail Varsity will be tracking the in-state players with Division I offers, including those Nebraska is recruiting.
2021 Millard North Guard Hunter Sallis (Nebraska Target)
The Mustangs punched their ticket to Lincoln by winning their two district games by a combined 49 points.
On Saturday, Millard North rolled past Lincoln Southwest 69-50 with Sallis and junior wing Saint Thomas (who is starting to attract some D-I interest himself) nearly outscoring the Silver Hawks by themselves with 49. Sallis scored 25 of of those points, shooting 11-of-15 from the field, 1-of-3 from 3 and 2-of-3 from the free-throw line. He added eight assists, seven rebounds, three steals and just one turnover to his line.
On Tuesday, the Mustangs earned the opportunity to cut down the nets with an 85-55 win against Kearney. Sallis struggled, but Thomas picked up the slack to lead the way with 27 points. Sallis scored just 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting including 1-of-2 from deep. However, he dished out eight assists again with four steals, two rebounds and four turnovers.
Creighton coach Greg McDermott attended Sallis’ game on Tuesday, and then Sallis took an unofficial visit to Kansas on Wednesday.
2022 Millard North Forward Jasen Green (Nebraska Target)
Green had a quiet couple of games, but Millard North didn’t need a lot of offense from him to win. Against the Silver Hawks, he totaled two points on 1-of-3 shooting, six rebounds, six assists, two blocks, one steal and two turnovers. Against the Bearcats, he had six points on 3-of-7 shooting, two steals, one rebound and one assist. Green missed all three of his 3-point attempts.
2020 Millard North Forward Max Murrell (Stanford Commit)
Murrell dominated on defense in Millard North’s first game then followed it up with one of his better offensive games of the season on Tuesday.
Against Southwest, he finished with seven points on 3-of-6 from the field and 1-of-2 from 3, seven blocks, two rebounds and one assist. In the win over the Bearcats, Murrell was second on the team with 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting (3-of-3 from 3), seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
If Murrell is hitting his 3-pointers, the Mustangs are going to be an incredibly tough out in the state tournament.
Millard North is the No. 2 seed and will face No. 7 Papillion-La Vista South on Thursday at 7 p.m. All the Class A games are played at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
2021 Bellevue West Point Guard Chucky Hepburn (Wisconsin Commit)
Hepburn led the Thunderbirds back to state with a pair of 20-point games in the district round.
On Saturday, Bellevue West beat Norfolk 75-41. Hepburn finished with 20 points on 8-of-14 from the field, 2-of-4 from 3 and 2-of-2 from the foul line, five rebounds, three assists, three steals and two turnovers.
On Monday, Bellevue West beat Lincoln Southeast 68-58 behind Hepburn’s first career triple-double. The Thunderbirds jumped out to a 24-10 lead after the first quarter and cruised to the finish from there. Hepburn put up 21 points on 6-of-12 from the field, 1-of-3 from 3 and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals, two blocks and three turnovers.
2021 Bellevue West Wing Frankie Fidler
Frankie Fidler had a strong game against the Panthers, matching his older brother Louis with 16 points. Frankie shot 7-of-12 from the field (0-of-2 from 3) and 2-of-3 from the line, grabbed seven rebounds (three offensive), dished out three assists, notice done steal and turned the ball over three times.
Fidler struggled a bit more on Monday, finishing with eight points on 3-of-8 from the field, 1-of-3 from 3 and 1-of-1 from the field, three rebounds, one assist and one turnover.
Bellevue West took the top seed in the state tournament and will face No. 8 Elkhorn at 2 p.m. on Thursday.
2020 Omaha Central Guard Latrell Wrightsell Jr.
Omaha Central turned a two-point lead after three quarters into a 70-57 win against Elkhorn South with a 23-12 fourth quarter on Saturday. Max Polk led the way for the Eagles, but Wrightsell had a big game too with 20 points on 4-of-9 from the field, 2-of-5 from 3 and 10-of-13 from the free-throw line, four steals, two assists and two turnovers.
Wrightsell followed that up with 21 points in a 55-36 win against Gretna in the district final on Monday. The Dragons led 7-6 after one but Central figured out their defense and scored 49 points in the last three quarters. Wrightsell shot 8-of-13 from the field, 2-of-4 from 3 and 3-of-3 from the line. He also added eight steals, four rebounds, one assure and one turnover to his line.
The Eagles are the No. 3 seed and will get a rematch of last year’s state championship in the first round against No. 6 Omaha South on Thursday at 8:45 p.m.
2020 Omaha Westside Guard Jadin Booth (Omaha Commit)
Booth put up 50 in his two games as the Warriors punched their ticket to state.
On Saturday, Westside pulled out a tough 72-66 win against Omaha North. Booth led all scorers with 30 points on 8-of-17 from the field (though only 1-of-9 from 3) and 13-of-14 from the foul line and he also had eight rebounds, four assists, one steal and one turnover.
On Tuesday, Westside pulled way late for a 73-60 win against Papillion-La Vista. Booth finished with 20 points on 5-of-10 from the field, 3-of-6 from 3 and 7-of-7 from the line, five assists, two rebounds, two steals, one block and two turnovers.
Westside is the No. 4 seed and will open tournament play against rival Omaha Creighton prep, the No. 5 seed. Tipoff is set for 3:45 p.m. on Thursday.
2020 Lincoln North Star Guard Donovan Williams
Williams is the only Division I recruit who did not make it out of the district round as Lincoln North Star fell to Gretna in the semifinal, 46-42, and finished 16-8. Gretna’s biggest strength is its ability to ugly games up and dramatically slow tempo, playing the possession game and making it tough for opponents to score with a variety of zone defenses.
Williams finished with nine points on 4-of-12 shooting including 0-of-5 from 3, and he only attempted two free throws, splitting them. He also had two rebounds, a block and a turnover.
The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 28.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.1 turnovers in 14 games since returning from his injury. He shot 44% from the field, 30% from 3 and 75% from the foul line. He finished his North Star career with 1,362 career points.
Williams took his second unofficial to Kansas on Wednesday.
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.