The Metro Holiday Tournament rolled on on Thursday with the semfifinals for both the girls and the boys. Jacob Padilla was there to recap all of the action.
No. 5 Omaha Creighton Prep 61, No. 8 Papillion-La Vista 55
AJ Rollins, a 2021 Nebraska football target, put the Junior Jays on his back and carried them into the final with a dominant performance against the Monarchs. After spending most of Thursday’s quarterfinal on the bench with foul trouble, Rollins put up 21 points on 9-of-13 from the field and 3-of-3 from the foul line with 13 rebounds including eight on the offensive end.
Papillion-La Vista led by one at halftime but Northwest Missouri State signee Spencer Schomers came alive after a scoreless first halfwith nine of his 12 points in the third quarter to put the Juniors Jays up 47-43 after three.
Creighton Prep opened the fourth with an 8-2 run included a tough and-one by Rollins through a foul from Augustana football commit Preston Kellogg (6-foot-6, 325 pounds) and the 10-point deficit proved to be too much for the Monarchs to overcome despite some problems at the free-throw line by the Junior Jays own the stretch.
Sophomore Kyle Ingwerson led Papillion-La Vista with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting including 3-of-6 from 3 while fellow sophomore Luke Lindenmeyer added 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Junior Jays are back in the Metro title game for the second straight year after falling to Bellevue West 51-46 last season to finish as the runner-up. They are 11-7 all-time in Metro finals.
Omaha Creighton Prep: 13-13-21-14 — 61
Papillion-La Vista: 13-14-16-12 — 55
OCP: AJ Rollins 21, Spencer Schemers 12, Mai’Jhe Wiley 10, Brendan Buckley 9, Justin Sitti 4, Will Manhart 3, Luke Jungers 2
PLV: Kyle Ingwerson 15, Luke Lindenmeyer 10, Preston Kellogg 7, Chase Lett 6, Owen McLaughlin 6, Joey Hylok 6, Aidan Graham 3, Matt Adamek 2
No. 2 Millard North 77, No. 11 Papillion-La Vista South 66
Papillion-La Vista South came out firing from the opening tip and gave the Mustangs a run for their money, but in the end Millard North pulled away down the stretch to advance to the final with an 11-point win.
The Titans shot 7-of-10 from 3 in the first quarter to take a 23-20 lead until 2021 Nebraska target Hunter Sallis knocked down a deep 3 at the buzzer to tie it up. Papio South cooled off in the second quarter, however, missing its first five 3-point attempts as Millard North pulled ahead by 12. However, Graham Cassoutt hit his third triple of the half and Danair Dempsey added a bucket inside to cut it down to seven before Sallis scored again to make it 41-32 Millard North heading into halftime.
Papillion-La Vista South caught fire again in the third, shooting 9-of-10 from the field including 3-of-4 from deep to make it a two-point game until Noah Erickson knocked down a corner 3 at the buzzer to put Millard North up 58-53 heading into the fourth.
The Mustangs scored the first four points of the final period to pull ahead by nine and the Titans ran out of steam, missing seven of their nine 3-point attempts in the fourth as the Mustangs put the game away.
With Nebraska assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih sitting court-side, Sallis put up 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting (3-of-4 from 3), eight assists, five rebounds, three steals and a block. Jasen Green, a 2022 Nebraska target, added seven points on 3-of-6 shooting. Stanford commit Max Murrell had 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and two blocks and junior point guard Jadin Johnson put up his first double-digit scoring game of the season with 13 points and five assists.
Cassoutt finished with a career-high 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting (5-of-6 from 3), five rebounds and three assists. Senior point guard Jared Mattley matched him with 21 points on 8-of-15 from the field including 4-of-10 from 3, seven assists and six rebounds. Dempsey chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds. As a team, the Titans shot 13-of-29 (44.8%) from deep and 52.1% overall, but it wasn’t enough to secure the upset.
Millard North shot 57.7% from the field including 10-of-21 (47.6%) from 3 and had 18 assists. The Mustangs advance to the final for the first time since 2006-07, a 60-52 loss to Omaha Benson. The Mustangs also dropped their only other appearance, a 58-55 loss to Bellevue West in 1998-99.
The boys final is set for 5:15 p.m. on Friday at Ralston Arena.
Millard North: 23-18-13-19 — 77
Papillion-La Vista South: 23- 9-21-13 — 66
MN: Hunter Sallis 25, Max Murrell 15, Jadin Johnson 13, Noah Erickson 8, Saint Thomas 7, Jasen Green 7, Tyler Sandoval 2
PLVS: Graham Cassoutt 21, Jared Mattley 21, Danair Dempsey 12, Josiah Beckenhauer 6, Thaison Glenn 3, Jack McKittrick 3
No. 1 Millard South 53, No. 4 Millard North 43
The Patriots led for most of the game until a fourth-quarter rally by the Mustangs tied it up at 39-all with just over 5 minutes to play. Then South Dakota commit Maddie Krull took over, scoring three straight buckets to put Millard North back in front and the Patriots closed it out from there.
Krull scored nine of her team-high 13 points in the fourth quarter after struggling to hit shots for most of the game. Creighton commit Jayme Horan, who also couldn’t get shots to fall all game long, finished with eight points, 14 rebounds, two steals and two assists. Freshmen Mya Babbitt and Cora Olsen added 10 and nine points, respectively, to pick up the slack of Krull and Horan shooting a combined 8-of-28 from the field.
Junior Kaylee Kessler stepped up in the third quarter with 10 of her 14 in the period to start the comeback. Cal-Baptist commit Nicole Avila-Ambrosi scored 12 of her team-high 18 in the second half but she, too, struggled from the field.
The Patriots move on to Friday’s final.
Millard South: 15-11-13-14 — 53
Millard North: 8- 9-16-10 — 43
MS: Maddie Krull 13, Mya Babbitt 10, Cora Olsen 9, Jayme Horan 8, Khloe Lemon 7, Megan Belt 4, Juliana Jones 2
MN: Nicole Avila-Ambrosi 18, Kaylee Kessler 14, Elle Danley 4, Asia Bryant 3, Taylor Finkenbiner 2, Lexi Finkenbiner 2
No. 3 Omaha Westside 66, No. 2 Papillion-La Vista 56
Lindsey Ingwerson was a force inside for the Monarchs with a double-double, but the Warriors pulled away in the fourth to advance to the final.
The Warriors pulled ahead with an 11-2 run midway through the second quarter and held onto a 33-27 lead at halftime, but the Monarchs came out of the locker room on fire, ripping off a 13-4 run to take a 40-37 lead.
Brooklyn James hit her fourth 3 of the game to tie it up and the sides went bucket-for-bucket for a few possessions leading to a 49-all tie early in the fourth. Westside scored seven in a row to take control, however, and never let Papio back into the game.
Rockhurst commit Ella Wedergren led the Warriors with 17 point and five assists. Adriana DiPrima had 14 points and James added 12 on 4-of-8 from deep.
Ingwerson, who is also headed to Rockhurst next year, had 19 points and 13 rebounds, five on the offensive end. Olivia Boudreaux added 13 points and eight rebounds.
The Warriors will play for the Metro Holiday Tournament title for the fourth straight year (they won in 2017-18 and finished as the runner-up in 2016-17 and 2018-19). Tipoff between Westside and Millard South is set for 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
Papillion-La Vista: 14-13-18-11 — 56
Omaha Westside: 14-19-16-17 — 66
PLV: Lindsey Ingwerson 19, Olivia Boudreau 13, Brooklyn Rice 8, Jenna Hoelscher 6, Erica Broin 4, Livi Kraft 3
OW: Ella Wedergren 17, Adriana DiPrima 14, Brooklyn James 12, Abby Helman 9, Jasmine McGinnis-Taylor 7, Kaitlyn Hanna 5
BOYS CONSOLATION GAMES
No. 9 Omaha Burke 67, No. 16 Omaha Bryan 64
Omaha Burke took control early and led almost the whole game, although the Bears turned up the pressure and staged a furious comeback in the fourth. They scored 27 points in the final eight minutes led by 15 from Jai’Lyn Spears and nine from Lam Kuany to make it a three-point game in the closing seconds, but the Bears couldn’t hit the shot at the buzzer to send it to overtime.
Bryan cut a double-digit deficit down to five midway through the third before junior Greg Brown took over, scoring eight straight points to open it back up before Bryan’s fourth-quarter flurry. Brown finished with 22 points on 7-of-13 from the field, 4-of-6 from 3 and 4-of-5 from the line, four rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block. Jaren Marshall had 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Kuany led Bryan with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting and 3-of-4 from the line, 11 rebounds and three steals. Spears scored all 19 of his points in the second half, shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 5-of-5 from the line for the game.
Omaha Burke: 15-13-22-17 — 67
Omaha Bryan: 8-14-15-27 — 64
OBu: Greg Brown 22 pts, Jaren Marshall 15 pts, David Moreano 6, Sam Sorensen 6, Michael Payne III 6, Donovan Moody 5, Jon Reinke 5, Chris Graham 2
OBr: Lam Kuany 20, Jai’Lyn Spears 19, Tywon Terrell Jr. 9, Darwin Lofton Jr. 9, Abdi Bashir 3, Deandre Clayton 2, James Valencia-Soethout 2
No. 12 Gretna 64, No. 13 Omaha Benson 39
Benson had no solutions for Gretna’s zone defense as the Bunnies shot 3-of-18 from 3 for the game and turned the ball over 13 times en route to a Gretna blowout. The Dragons sot 7-of-12 from 3 in the first half to open up a 14-point lead at halftime and then shot 13-of-19 inside the arc in the second half to stretch out the lead and cruise to the finish line.
Ely Doble put up 25 points on 10-of-14 from the field, 3-of-5 from 3 and 2-of-3 from the free-throw line with seven rebounds and four assists. Clay Frost had 10 points and seven assists while Grant Jansen chipped in 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting off the bench.
Marcus Shakeer scored 13 of his team-high 18 for the Bunnines in the fourth quarter. He grabbed three boards, dished out three assists and secured three steals.
Gretna: 14-18-17-15 — 64
Omaha Benson: 6-12- 5-16 — 39
G: Ely Doble 25, Clay Frost 10, Grant Jansen 10, Hershal Vuksich 9, Trevor Marshall 4, Zach Wiese 2, Colby Erdkamp 2, Ethan Tech 2
OB: Marcus Shakeer 18, , Anthony Ignowski 7, CarDae Daniels 5, Denik Johnson 4, Dylan Holston 4, Anthony Adkisson Jr. 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.