Right now, it's no contest. Omaha Creighton Prep is playing the best defense in Class A.
Omaha Central had been under 50 points only once all season, but because it was a win over Gretna that comes with an asterisk. Gretna still has Moe Iba’s playbook from Nebraska.
The No. 5 Eagles couldn’t get to 40 against Prep. A night after they made half of their 20 3-point attempts in an overtime loss at No. 1 Bellevue West, they were 3-of-19 in Saturday night’s 49-39 loss at No. 3 Prep.
Prep had no letdown following its 76-75 win Thursday night at No. 2 Millard North, in which it rallied from 11 down by holding the state’s highest scoring team to 13 points in the final 9½ minutes.
“Our guys came to guard,’’ Prep coach Josh Luedtke said. “Anytime you’re playing the talent of Millard North and then a couple days later a team like Central with just as much talent is tough. Central is averaging 69 points, I think, and we held them to 39. I’m really proud of our defense.
Luedtke said he thought his team was physically tired from the Millard North game and Central’s pressure was bothersome.
“We exerted a lot of energy defensively and I think that hurt us offensively,’’ he said.
Central (19-5) had lengthy scoring droughts at the end of each of the first three quarters. The Eagles trailed by 11 at the half but by only 35-31 on Fai Germany’s basket with 2:34 left in the third quarter.
They went more than nine minutes without another made field goal.
“We obviously shot the ball better last night,’’ Central coach Eric Behrens said. “Prep and Bellevue West played very different styles. We probably attacked West a little bit better than we did Prep.”
Marshall had 11 and PJ Davis 10 for Central, whose season scoring leader — Denim Johnson — was held to five while going against the likes of AJ Rollins and Luke Jungers inside.
On Senior Night, Justin Sitti, who’s signed with Morningside, led Prep with 13 points. Five of Prep’s seven seniors scored, with Rollins getting 11, twins Brendan (8) and Conor (4) Buckley combining for 12 and Mai’jhe Wiley scoring seven. Tony Tubrick and Alex Bullock entered the game in the final minute.
Omaha Central (19-5).......................9 9 13 8—39
At Omaha Creighton Prep (20-2)...13 16 10 10—49
OC: Jaren Marshall 11, PJ Davis 10, Fai Germany 7, Jayden Dawson 6, Denim Johnson 5.
CP: Justin Sitti 13, AJ Rollins 9, Brendan Buckley 8, Mai’jhe Wiley 8, Luke Jungers 7, Conor Buckley 4.