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Pospisil: Omaha Westside's defense has best night of season in win over Millard West
BASKETBALL

Pospisil: Omaha Westside's defense has best night of season in win over Millard West

Jake Anderson and Stu Pospisil give their thoughts on the changes to the Nebraska state basketball tournaments, including being held over a record five days, the benefit of having a majority of games at Pinnacle Bank Arena and more.

With the regular season in the middle of its third-to-last weekend, Omaha Westside picked up a timely win.

The Warriors held Millard West to its season low in scoring while having their best defensive night in a 59-38 romp.

It was a matchup of teams that entered Friday night seventh and eighth in the Class A point standings used to determine postseason seeding. The top seven have homecourt advantage in districts, and the top five seem close to being set — Bellevue West, Millard North, Omaha Creighton Prep, Lincoln Pius X and Omaha Central — though the order is likely to change.

The teams next best able to control their destinies are Lincoln Southeast, Westside, Millard West and Papillion-La Vista.

Sixth-ranked Westside (13-4) and No. 8 Millard West (12-4) have been winning the games they should. The worst record for an opponent that beat either one is 8-8 for Omaha North, which downed Millard West last month.

Westside was without its season scoring leader, sophomore Tate Odvody, in street clothes because of a left-foot injury. Its two returning starters from last season, Chandler Meeks and Reggie Thomas, each had 15 points.

Warriors coach Jim Simons said he hopes Odvody, who was hurt two weeks ago, can be back in a week or two.

“We knew this season would be a process just with the guys we lost from last season were pretty valuable to use and played a ton of minutes,” Simons said. “To see our guys work to get better has been rewarding. We have a good, hard-working team but we’re not this juggernaut so we have to keep working to get better.”

Two who have made steady improvement are freshman Caleb Benning, who has been starting since January, and 6-foot-6 junior Logan Wilson, who stepped in for Odvody.

“Logan gives us something at the rim that honestly we haven’t had in three or four years,” Simons said. “He’s long, he jumps well. He can alter shots. We have not missed a beat defensively.

“Caleb especially is improving by leaps and bounds and our other young guys are doing a good job.”

Millard West couldn’t hit a thing. The first half, it was 5 of 16. At the line.

“It was a frustrating night,” Wildcat coach Bill Morrison said. “But they didn’t quit. You could see the frustration but they kept battling.”

Morrison said three differences he saw were that Westside sped his team up, “then they shot well and we didn’t shoot well. I really thought we did a pretty good job defending, we were going to make them kick it out, and they were 7-of-15 on 3s in the first half.”

Millard West (12-4)...................11    5  13    9—38

At Omaha Westside (13-4).......18  16  14  11—59

MW: Evan Meyersick 11, Dominic Deangelo-Humm 9, James Conway 9, Trace Thaden 3, Ryan Larsen 3, Zac Grandgenett 2, Chase Hultman 1.

OW: Reggie Thomas 15, Chandler Meeks 15, Caleb Benning 8, Payson Gillespie 8, Logan Wilson 7, Charlie Davis 6. 

Coaching moves

After 23 years as Norfolk football coach, Tom Olson announced his retirement Friday. Olson’s 111 wins, against 112 losses, are the most in school history.

At McCook, the Bison have promoted defensive coordinator Joe Vetrovsky to coach after the retirement of Jeff Gross. Vetrovsky played for McCook, graduating in 2009, and returned as an assistant in 2014 after graduating from Doane University.


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Reporter - High school sports

Stu is The World-Herald's lead writer for high school sports and for golf. Follow him on Twitter @stuOWH. Email stu.pospisil@owh.com

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