After Saturday, the Metro Conference dominance of the Top 10 eroded.
Lincoln North Star upset then-No. 5 Millard West. Lincoln Southeast beat then-No. 8 Omaha Burke. Lincoln Southwest handed then-No. 9 Omaha Creighton Prep a 24-point loss on a neutral court.
North Star was the week’s big gainer in the Top 10. After their Friday night win against Southeast, the Gators (8-5) are ranked eighth. Southeast (8-5) is ninth, up a spot from last week, and Southwest (7-6) is 10th.
The Lincoln teams bumped out Burke and Prep. Burke lacks a victory against a team with a winning record and Prep’s best win was in December against Lincoln East (8-6).
Fremont nearly knocked off new No. 5 Omaha North, losing on the road 48-47 Saturday. The teams were tied 13-13 at halftime.
The four wins against Metro teams — Norfolk also beat Bellevue East — doubled the season win total for the non-Metro teams. But they are only 8-25 on the season.
River Cities: Again this season, there’s no rival to the six-team league for the strongest conference tournament in Class B.
The lowest seed, Omaha Gross, is 5-6. The next-lowest, Ralston, is undefeated against instate competition and has the highest rank in the Class B ratings — fourth — yet has to visit South Sioux City for its first-round game Tuesday.
Omaha Skutt is ranked fifth this week, Beatrice eighth and top seed Roncalli is ninth. The semifinals are Thursday at the highest seeds, with the final at 5 p.m. Saturday at Ralston High.
Prep Classic: Jim Huffman and Tom Krehbiel may have found the ideal location for their Nebraska Prep Classic showcase event in the Ralston Arena.
The weekend event drew about 3,000 paid spectators, including slightly more than 2,000 Saturday in a revised count, which should get the 10-game event close to breaking even financially.
The best atmosphere, because of the Papillion-La Vista pep band, was for the Monarchs’ prime-time game with Sioux City Heelan. It also was the game with the arena at its fullest.
Ralston’s arena would be ideal, too, for the Metro Conference holiday tournament. Maybe that can happen as soon as next season, provided schedules can be worked out with the primary tenants — UNO men’s basketball and Omaha Lancers hockey.
Topeka’s Highland Park team, which held Bellevue West to 11 points in the second half while rallying for a 46-32 win, would have been good competition for the likes of Omaha Central, Omaha South and Papio.
All-time teams: Reader response has been good in our query as to what school in the Metro Conference, past or present, has the best all-time five from players who competed in the Metro’s holiday tournament that started in 1962.
That provision should have been emphasized more in the article last Tuesday announcing the final step of our golden-anniversary salute to the Holiday tournament. Some readers questioned why Omaha Tech’s team didn’t include Bob Boozer and Bob Gibson. Both played for the Trojans before the Holiday tournament era. Same for those proud Ryan High alums wondering about the omission of Chuck Shimerdla and Klaus Brotzki — Ryan wasn’t included in the tournament during their time.
You can find the all-time teams at NEPrepZone.com or look for them to run again Thursday. Deadline for voting is Jan. 22.
Statistics due: Coaches in Class A, Class B and Omaha-area schools should have received new statistics reporting forms by email last week. Those forms are due by Tuesday night.
Top games this week:
Tuesday: Elkhorn South at Fremont. Thursday: Lincoln East at Lincoln North Star. Friday: Papillion-La Vista at Bellevue West, Omaha Creighton Prep at Omaha Central, Kearney at Lincoln Southeast, Omaha North at Millard West. Saturday: Bellevue West at Central, Omaha North at Prep, Fremont at Kearney, Omaha South at Benson (2:45 p.m.)
Tuesday: Lincoln Lutheran at Waverly. Friday: Waverly at Elkhorn South. Saturday: Scottsbluff at Gering.
Tournaments—River Cities, final 5 p.m. at Ralston.
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