Omaha Westside didn’t let this one get away.
The Warriors handed Norfolk its first loss of the season, 60-48 Friday night on the Panthers’ homecourt, while extending their winning streak to four games after a 4-4 start.
“We’ve been ahead of some good teams this year by 10 or more points,” Westside coach Brian Nemecek said after the Norfolk win, “but we’ve given up some leads, and I think our kids learned a lot tonight about not allowing that to happen.”
The final score is a little deceptive because Westside took out its starters for the final two minutes after leading 60-42.
Westside, which followed with a 72-46 home win over Millard West on Saturday night, returns to the Top 10 at No. 8. The Warriors started the season at No. 5.
A far more surprising result last week was Omaha North’s 62-42 pounding of then-Top 10 No. 5 Lincoln Southeast.
The Vikings won one of their first 10 games before beating the Knights on the road. Southeast couldn’t crack North’s 2-3 zone, getting outscored in every quarter in its first game since pushing top-ranked Omaha Central the weekend before.
What made this result more astounding wasn’t that a struggling team beat a ranked team, but that it was by 20 points in a road game.
Southeast lost again 65-50 on Saturday night at new No. 5 Bellevue West, removing even more luster from Norfolk’s game Friday night at Southeast. The Panthers (12-1) no longer are undefeated, although they remain ranked fourth, while Southeast is on a three-game losing streak that has dropped it from fifth to ninth.
Norfolk then hosts Bellevue West on Saturday night, which for both teams completes a weekend of back-to-back games against ranked teams. Bellevue West hosts No. 3 Omaha Benson on Friday.
With York losing 50-44 at home last Tuesday to Class C-1 Grand Island Central Catholic, No. 1 Elkhorn South and No. 2 Beatrice are the last unbeatens in Class B.
York drops from second to fourth and Omaha Roncalli from sixth to eighth for an overtime loss to an inconsistent Elkhorn Mount Michael team. Ralston and Bennington fill the last two spots after losses by Waverly and Norris, last week’s Nos. 9 and 10.
South Sioux City
If the district seedings were made on the current point standings, South Sioux City (8-5) would be the fifth seed and host a district — even though it lost to its only instate Class A opponent of the regular season (Norfolk) by 83-52.
Teams are not penalized for playing opponents in smaller classes. So South Sioux’s season-opening win over Wayne — in overtime against a Class C-1 school that’s 13-2 — is worth the same 50 points that Central got for beating Benson in the Metro Holiday Tournament final.
The situation isn’t new. Ralston and Elkhorn have been in A and not radically altered their schedules because each belongs to a conference of Class B schools. And it will continue with South Sioux and, in perhaps only another year, Elkhorn South.
The Cardinals might need only 14 or 15 wins to be among the top seven teams that host districts. They are in the River Cities Conference tournament, visiting Ralston for a Tuesday night first-round game with the winner visiting top seed Beatrice for a Thursday semifinal. The RCC final is 5 p.m. Saturday at Omaha Skutt.
Benson’s Saturday night game at Grand Island is the first time the schools have met in boys basketball since 1952. The series is tied 1-1.
Coaches of Class A, Class B and Omaha area small-school teams on Friday were emailed forms and instructions for reporting their cumulative season statistics. The deadline for the first report is noon Wednesday.
Several Metro Conference games did not get reported to the newspaper last weekend. Home-team coaches are asked to contact us by 11 p.m. MaxPreps reports must contain a scoring summary for both teams, not just the home team.