Omaha South had to work longer than Papillion-La Vista on New Year's Eve to set up their undefeated showdown in the Metro Conference boys basketball holiday tournament semifinals.
South needed overtime Monday to defeat Omaha Burke 69-63 in the quarterfinals at Millard South. A game earlier, Papio pulled away in the second half for a 72-52 win over Omaha North.
“You get what you practice,” Packers coach Bruce Chubick said. “I thought we played like we practiced the last two days. We didn't have a lot of focus.”
South-Papio — both teams are 9-0 — will be the 8 p.m. semifinal on Wednesday at the Civic Auditorium. The 6:15 opener will send Millard West (7-2) against defending champion Omaha Central (7-2).
In their quarterfinals, Millard West overcame a 35-point game by Omaha Benson's Khyri Thomas to beat the Bunnies 62-52, and Central coasted to an 82-56 win over Omaha Creighton Prep.
Omaha Westside beat Omaha Bryan 45-42 in the last of the tournament's consolation games.
For South, Cam Williams had 18 points, Buoy Tuach 16, Lyle Hexom 11 and James Dumes 10.
The Packers, who trailed by six in the first half, used an 11-0 run in the third quarter for their largest lead at 49-38. They were leading 54-44 early in the fourth quarter before Burke rallied.
The Bulldogs gained a 59-59 tie on a Kevin Clayton basket and went ahead 60-59 on a Rashad McCoy free throw with 2:34 left. McCoy's 18 points led the Bulldogs.
“I thought Burke had a great game plan for us,” Chubick said. “They're one of the teams that can match up with our guards.”
South scored the next three points, on a Williams free throw and a Hexom lay-in off a Williams assist, to regain a 62-60 lead with 1:17 left.
Hexom, a 6-foot-8 senior, fouled out and Clayton made two free throws with 33 seconds left to end the scoring in regulation. The Bulldogs missed two shots after getting the ball back on a traveling call, but South didn't get off a good shot during the 5.5 seconds it had for its last possession.
“We weren't good on time and score,” Chubick said. “We had some bad shot selection.”
In overtime, neither team scored until Tuach made two free throws for South with 2:06 left.
Williams converted a three-point play with 57 seconds left for a 67-62 lead. On the second possession after a Burke free throw, the Bulldogs' only point in overtime, Tuach threw to Williams for a game-clinching basket.
“We started getting the ball to the guys with mismatches,” Chubick said. “We needed to have that the rest of the game.”
Burke's overtime possessions resulted in a missed one-and-one, a missed layup, a traveling call, a player-control foul, a free throw by Seth Curran and a miss.
Omaha Burke (4-5)........................15 21 8 18 1—63
Omaha South (9-0)........................15 19 16 12 7—69
B: Trey Carr 11, Jack Dresslar 3, Kevin Clayton 7, Seth Curran 9, Rashad McCoy 18, Ryan Poppen 5, Nick McCulloch 10.
S: Bobby Lage 5, Tyler Hall 5, James Dumes 10, Cam Williams 18, Buoy Tuach 16, Lyle Hexom 11, Kevin Harkins 4.
* * *
Papillion-La Vista 72, North 52
Brett Dougherty and Nate Maloley combined for 37 points for Papillion-La Vista.
A late first-half flurry lifted the Monarchs to a 33-27 lead. Maloley started the 7-0 spurt with two free throws and a basket.
“We got a couple easys there off our pressure,” Monarchs coach Jason Ryan said. “Starting in the third quarter we got it into the paint a bunch.
“Defensively I thought we were pretty steady all game and we got good play from our bench again.”
Dougherty had 14 of his 20 points in the second half, with Maloley getting 11 of his 17 points in the first half.
Zach Martin and Kameron Bradford had 13 points apiece for the Vikings (6-3).
Omaha North (6-3).............................16 11 11 15—52
Papillion-La Vista (9-0)........................15 18 19 19—72
N: Kameron Bradford 13, Zach Martin 13, Aireon Porter 10, Davion Reed 8, Bryan Littlejon 4, Marquise Lewis 2
P: Brett Dougherty 20, Nate Maloley 17, Spencer Lewis 12, Ja'Pree Murry 7, Keenan Neelon 2, Matt Safranek 5, Riing Riing 2, Caleb Piatkowski 3, Tyler Dougherty 4
* * *
Millard West 62, Benson 52
Wildcat senior Connor Lusso had 18 of his 26 points in the first half.
Millard West saw an early 13-point lead shrink to 30-26 on a Thomas free throw, but it scored the last four points of the first half and the first 10 of the second for an 18-point lead at 44-26.
Benson (5-4) never got closer than 11 after that even though Thomas scored the most points in a tournament game since T.J. Pugh of Prep had 37 against Bellevue West in the 1993-94 season.
A 6-4 junior, Thomas had 14 of the Bunnies' 17 points in the second quarter and 15 of their 18 in the fourth.
He was Benson's only reliable scorer. The only other Bunny with more than one basket was 6-8 junior Thik Bol with two.
Josh Lallman had 11 points and Spencer Sharp 10 for the Wildcats.
Omaha Benson (5-4)........................9 17 8 18—52
Millard West (7-2)...........................21 13 12 16—62
B: Khyri Thomas 35, Thik Bol 4, Deion Ross-Wells 3, Will Curtis 3, Tyree Peter 2, Maurice Buckley 2, MarShun Stewart 3
MW: Connor Lusso 26, Joey Koca 4, Sam Koca 3, Nick Hargis 4, Josh Lallman 11, Spencer Sharp 10, Ben Kositzke 4
* * *
Central 82, Prep 56
Millard South's gym was close to full capacity until Central sped to a 49-28 halftime lead. Tre'Shaun Thurman had 16 points, including four 3s, in the half and finished with a game-high 21 points.
KJ Scott had 12 of his 20 points in the first half for Central.
Akoy Agau, the Eagles' two-time All-Nebraska player, was benched for the first 3:43 of the game. The 6-9 Louisville recruit had a season-low four points.
Kevin Dineen led Prep (5-3) with 11 points.
Omaha Creighton Prep (5-3)........................15 13 8 22—56
Omaha Central (7-2).................................28 21 16 17—82
P: Tommy Pritchard 3, Pat Broderick 5, Kevin Dineen 11, Kirk Kudlacz 7, Pat Kirby 2, Drew Homa 5, Jacob Mattern 6, Kevin Toner 3, Alex Allberry 4, Jason Allberry 8, Nollie Schmitz 2.
C: Akoy Agau 4, Christian Harmon 2, KJ Scott 20, Tra-Deon Hollins 11, Deandre Hollins-Johnson 7, Nick Billingsley 7, LaTrell Jameson 2, Austin McGaugh 5, Tre'Shawn Thurman 21, Malik Harris 3.
* * *
Westside 45, Bryan 43
Mike Kiger had 15 points and Jake Koester 11 for Westside (4-5). Ojuok Thok's 27 points led Bryan (1-8).
Omaha Westside (4-5)........................13 10 4 18—45
Omaha Bryan (1-8)............................11 13 8 11—43
W: Kevin Metoyer 7, Mike Kiger 15, Jake Koester 11, Brandon Sladek 2, Brock Nemecek 5, Jake Meyers 5
B: Ojuok Thok 27, Tesloach Jiech 3, Ju-Wan Bufford 3, Ward Gatdit 5, Goy Dolouny 3, Chris Gonzales 2.