Coming off the Christmas break, Omaha Benson coach Jon Perone wasn't sure what to expect in his team's return to the court.
But the Bunnies came ready to play Friday night, rolling to a 68-42 win over visiting Omaha North in a first-round game at the Metro Holiday girls basketball tournament. The victory lifts Benson to 6-2 and moves the Bunnies into a quarterfinal game Monday against Bellevue East.
“Coming off that (mandatory five-day) moratorium, you're never sure what you're going to get,” Perone said. “But we had a good practice yesterday and I was hoping we'd be ready to go for this one.”
In other first-round games Friday, Millard West defeated Omaha Bryan 79-26; Bellevue West beat Millard South 46-21; Bellevue East defeated Papillion-La Vista South 77-30; Omaha Northwest defeated Papillion-La Vista 51-33; and Omaha Westside held on to defeat Omaha Marian 69-63.
The other two first-round games will be played Saturday at Benson. Omaha Central will play Omaha South at 6:15 p.m. and Millard North will play Omaha Burke at 8.
The Bunnies, who opened the season with a four-point win over the Vikings, posted a more convincing victory Friday. Benson rode a 23-point second quarter to a double-digit lead and was never really threatened the rest of the way.
Montrese Weller led Benson with 17 points, including 10 in the pivotal second period. Teammate Kianna Ibis scored 14 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.
“Montrese really stepped up for us,” Perone said. “We need that because it can't just be the Kianna show out there.”
Ibis, a 6-foot sophomore, already is receiving looks from several Division I colleges. She had seven blocked shots to go with her double-double scoring and rebounding performance.
“She can do it all out there,” Perone said. “She's just an outstanding talent.”
The Vikings trailed by only two points after the first quarter but a 10-0 run by Benson put the Bunnies in command. They led 37-22 at half and then pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring North 20-6 in the final eight minutes.
Next up for Benson is Bellevue East at 4:30 p.m. Monday. East easily handled Papillion-La Vista South in its tourney opener Friday.
“That'll be a huge test for us,” Perone said. “That'll really tell us where we're at.”
Arbrieal Benson added 12 for the Bunnies, including nine in the first quarter.
North, which will play a consolation game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday against Papio South, had three players in double figures. Danielle Bynum scored 14 points while Ashley Collins added 12 and Imani White 10.
Omaha North (3-5)...................................12 10 14 6—42
At Omaha Benson (6-2)..............................14 23 11 20—68
ON: Tiani White 6, Imani White 10, Ashley Collins 12, Danielle Bynum 14.
OB: Tashiana Coffiel-Nelson 5, Kylee Askew 3, Kanesha Plater 4, Moneeka Robinson 8, Arbrieal Benson 12, Octavia McGraw 3, Kianna Ibis 14, Montrese Weller 17, Antania Warren 2.
Millard West 79, Omaha Bryan 26
The top-seeded Wildcats cruised past the Bears in the first game of the day.
Dani Saenz and Samantha Waldron scored 12 points each to pace the 7-1 Wildcats, who led 40-10 at halftime.
Kasia Hood added 10 points while Erin Burling had nine.
All 13 players who suited up scored for Millard West, which advances to a quarterfinal at 11:15 a.m. Monday vs. Westside.
Rajee Augustine scored 15 points to pace the 1-7 Bears, who will play a consolation game at 1 p.m. Saturday against Marian.
Omaha Bryan (1-7)..............................5 5 12 4—26
Millard West (7-1)...............................16 24 15 24—79
OB: Rajee Augustine 15, Tawana Young 7, Qwenyona Evans 1, Georgiana Tut 3.
MW: Paige Phipps 4, Katie McGuire 2, Madi Severson 4, Samantha Waldron 12, Brooke Savage 6, Dani Saenz 12, Alex Hruby 5, Marisa Lowe 6, Erin Burling 9, Kaci German 2, Mallory Woodring 5, Kasia Hood 10, Kate Suelter 2.
Bellevue West 46, Millard South 21
The second-seeded Thunderbirds led 31-6 at halftime and rolled to their seventh win of the season.
Annie Szczepaniak led the way with 12 points while Chloe Akin-Otiko and Kate Liveringhouse chipped in seven each.
The 1-7 Patriots didn't hit their first field goal until Logan Klein sank a layup with 3:08 left in the third quarter. Klein paced Millard South with 12 points.
Bellevue West advances to a 2:45 p.m. quarterfinal Monday against Northwest while the Patriots will play a consolation game vs. Papio at 2:45 p.m. Saturday.
Millard South (1-7)...............................2 4 4 11—21
Bellevue West (7-0)..............................15 16 7 8—46
MS: Tatum Stenger 2, Kendra Rueth 2, Jessica Tapp 2, Logan Klein 12, Macy Woitzel 2, Jill Ziegenbein 1.
BW: Elisha Cobbs 4, Madi Braun 5, Haelee Kowalski 5, Annie Szczepaniak 12, Taylor Ditoro 3, Chloe Akin-Otiko 7, Kim Smith 2, Kate Liveringhouse 7, Allison Tichy 1.
Bellevue East 77, Papillion-La Vista South 30
Junior guard Peyton Hagen scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Chieftains.
Hagen had 17 in the first half, including five 3-pointers. Bellevue East (6-0) led 22-4 after the first quarter and 42-14 at halftime.
Taylor Silva scored 11 for the Chieftains, Jayla Hobza had 10 and Haley Ourada nine.
The 1-7 Titans were led by Haley Peterson, who scored eight points. Papio South will play a consolation game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday against North.
Papillion-La Vista South (1-7)..............................4 10 8 8—30
At Bellevue East (6-0).......................................22 20 19 16—77
PLVS: Kelsey Lang 2, Haley Peterson 8, Kiana Lemon 3, Alexa Digiacomo 5, Gabbie Sefranek 2, Holly Nelson 1, Jen Bolgar 6, Raegan Legrand 3.
BE: Peyton Hagen 21, Naenay Williams 2, Roshawn Hollie 7, Haley Ourada 9, Taylor Silva 11, Rylie Cascio-Jensen 5, Amaun Frazier 6, Sidni Trotter 6, Jayla Hobza 10.
Omaha Northwest 51, Papillion-La Vista 33
Simone Goods scored 18 points for the Huskies, who posted their first victory in an opening-round Holiday Tournament game since 1986.
Northwest (6-2) sprinted to a 17-5 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. The Monarchs were held without a field goal until sophomore guard Maddie Willett sank a jumper with 2:51 left in the first half.
Deleyah Harris scored nine points and Raine Dunkin had eight for the Huskies, who advance to a quarterfinal game Monday at 2:45 p.m. against Bellevue West.
Alli Kalal scored 11 points to pace Papio (4-4), which will play Millard South in a consolation game Saturday at 2:45 p.m.
Papillion-La Vista (4-4)...............................5 9 11 8—33
Omaha Northwest (6-2)..............................17 8 15 11—51
PLV: Ashley Nelson 5, Alli Kalal 11, Maddie Willett 4, Brooke Hubert 3, Katie Oswald 2, Laura Cook 6, Raechel Meisinger 2.
ONW: Deleyah Harris 9, Raine Dunkin 8, Nya Pal 6, Lavonzelle Brown 4, Simone Goods 18, Rachel Rawleigh 1, Nadia Donovan 5.
Omaha Westside 69, Omaha Marian 63
The Warriors, who led by 17 midway through the fourth quarter, were able to hang on for the victory.
The Crusaders closed within 67-62 with a minute left on a 3-pointer by Allison McLeay, and almost inched within three a few seconds later when a shot rolled off the rim. Westside then got a pair of late free throws from Karly Meyer and picked up the win in the final game of the night.
Mallory Thompson and Jay Bridgeman scored 21 each for the Warriors. Thompson, daughter of former Westside standout Tom Thompson, sank six 3-pointers over the second and third quarters.
The 4-4 Warriors advance to a quarterfinal at 11:15 a.m. Monday against Millard West.
McLeay scored 19 to lead the Crusaders while Annie Wolfe added 14 and Nicole Liske 10. Marian will play Omaha Bryan in a consolation game at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Omaha Marian (2-6).................................11 15 9 28—63
Omaha Westside (4-4)..............................13 19 19 18—69
OM: Cassie Jones 2, Gabbie Jonas 2, Anna Bartolomei 5, Faith Carter 9, Nicole Liske 10, Allison McLeay 19, Annie Wolfe 14, Maddie Carlisle 1, Sarah Townsend 1.
OW: Mallory Thompson 21, Marie Matthews 5, Shannen Pickering 9, Lynsey Curran 3, Rachel Kaup 5, Karly Meyer 4, Jennifer Poots 1, Jay Bridgeman 21.
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