The extra work Cam Williams has been putting in recently was on display Saturday afternoon at Benson High School.
Williams sank 20 of 21 free throws on his way to a career-high 35 points as he led Top 10 No. 2 Omaha South to an 80-66 win over No. 4 Omaha Benson.
“I've been in the gym lately working on my shot. It gets better everyday,” said Williams, a senior guard whose previous career high was 29 points.
But Williams wasn't the only Packer knocking down free throws Saturday. As a team, South was 39 of 44, including 26 of 29 in the second half. The Packers made 25 in a row during one stretch.
“We shoot free throws pretty well, we're around 70 percent,” South coach Bruce Chubick said. “We made them down the stretch, I thought that was big. Cam was 20 of 21, and I thought all of them shot well.”
It was South's second win over Benson this season. On Dec. 1, the Packers used a strong fourth quarter to rally past the Bunnies 72-61. South was 17 of 31 from the line in that game.
“This one wasn't as smooth, a little herky-jerky. Not a lot of flow to the game. But we'll take it. We kept our composure,” said Chubick, whose team improved to 15-1 on the season. “I'm elated to come in here and get a win.”
The only time the Packers trailed during Saturday's game was in the opening minutes.
South missed its first five shots from the field as Benson took a 6-2 lead four minutes into the game. But the Packers scored on their next two possessions and never trailed again.
South then got to the foul line late in the first half, and that's when the Packers got some separation for a 38-27 halftime lead. South hit all 10 of its free throws during the final 1:19 as they finished the half on a 16-5 run.
The Packers also outrebounded the Bunnies 16-8 in the first half and finished the game with a 32-17 advantage. Three putbacks in the third quarter helped South's lead grow to 19 entering the fourth quarter.
“I had three goals in the game, and No. 1 was rebounding,” Chubick said. “We thought that was going to be big, and it was.”
Benson clawed back early in the fourth quarter, trimming its deficit to 61-53 with 5:10 left. But the Bunnies never got closer than seven as the Packers secured the win at the free-throw line. South was 9 of 10 from the line in the final 1:27.
Williams led that free-throw parade by hitting 16 of 17 after halftime.
“At first, I was a little excited. I just had to calm down and knock down shots since we were playing a really good team,” Williams said.
Adding to South's free-throw total were technical fouls called on Benson. In the game's final nine minutes, the Bunnies were whistled for four technicals and one was called on South.
“It was kind of an ugly game. The kids all know each other so well. We're both really competitive and want to win,” Chubick said.
Benson, which had a four-game winning streak snapped, was led by junior Khyri Thomas, who scored 12 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter.
Omaha South (15-1) ................. 17 21 19 23—80
At Omaha Benson (9-5) ................. 12 15 11 28—66
OS: Bobby Lage 2-7 9-10 13, Tyler Hall 0-1 3-4 3, Cam Williams 7-13 20-21 35, Buay Tuach 5-6 7-9 17, Arop Arop 1-1 0-0 2, Lyle Hexom 1-4 0-0 2, Kevin Harkins 4-9 0-0 8. Totals 20-41 39-44 80.
OB: Khyri Thomas 10-14 7-8 30, Brandon Reed 4-9 1-1 12, Danny Barfield 0-2 0-2 0, Mar'shun Stewart 1-4 1-2 4, Tyree Peter 3-6 1-2 7, William Curtis 0-1 0-0 0, Deion Wells-Ross 0-2 1-2 1, Thik Bol 4-7 4-5 12. Totals 22-45 15-22 66.
3-point goals: OS 1-5 (Williams 1-2, Hall 0-1, Lage 0-2), OB 7-19 (Thomas 3-4, Reed 3-7, Stewart 1-3, Peter 0-1, Curtis 0-1, Wells-Ross 0-1, Barfield 0-2). Rebounds: OS 32 (Harkins, Tuach 7), OB 17 (Peter 5). Turnovers: OS 17, OB 13. Total fouls: OS 22, OB 25. Fouled out: Thomas. Technicals: Benson bench, Wells-Ross, Reed, Curtis, Hall.
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