Too much Central. Not enough Burke.
Those two statements told the story Friday night as Top 10 No. 1 Omaha Central used a second-half push to put away No. 6 Omaha Burke 48-36.
The Bulldogs, playing without leading scorer Trey Carr, muddied things up for the better part of three quarters before the four-time defending state champions used an 11-1 run late in third to build their cushion.
“It wasn't ugly because it was soft,” Central coach Eric Behrens said. “It was ugly because it was tough. It wasn't easy.”
Central followed a stretch of more than five minutes without a bucket to start the game with a similar second-quarter drought of more than six minutes.
The Eagles scored nine of their 15 first-half points in the final 44 seconds of the first quarter and first 24 ticks of the second.
And yet they still led at halftime.
“They made us work,” Behrens said. “I thought the ball was a little sticky in the first half, meaning we didn't move it around well. We did a better job of that after halftime.”
Senior forward Tre'Shawn Thurman scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the second half for Central, including a monster dunk in the closing minutes. He added 14 rebounds on the night.
It was that kind of firepower that Burke was missing. The Bulldogs got 16 points from sophomore forward Noah Fant. Only two other players scored more than two points.
The major offensive hole was created by the suspension of Carr this week. Bulldog coach Ben Holling declined to comment on the matter but said he was happy with the way his team responded.
“To their credit, our kids came out ready to go tonight,” Holling said. “It would have been easy for them to come in here and play the 'woe is me' card. But they didn't. They really took the fight.
“I'm more than happy with our effort. I'm a proud coach. Not satisfied by any means. But proud.”
His team's road gets no easier without Carr. The Bulldogs, who had won five of six entering Friday, host second-ranked Omaha South Saturday night before games against Omaha North and No. 9 Fremont next weekend.
“We're definitely missing a weapon,” Holling said. “But we knew that coming in and we competed. I'll take that every time.”
Omaha Burke (7-4) .................................................. 9 5 9 13—36
At Omaha Central (12-1) .......................................... 7 8 18 15—48
OB: Wanjang Tut 7, Ryan Poppen 6, Dartan Henderson 2, Noah Fant 16, Nick McCulloch 2, MJ Blankenfield 1, Jarron Bradley 2.
OC: Malik Harris 6, Jarek Coles 9, K'zhan Jimerson 4, Tre'Shawn Thurman 18, Rashad McCoy 5, Austin McGaugh 4, Reath Nyoach 2.