Same old Central.
The second-ranked Eagles got off to a flying start in their defense of the Class A throne, overwhelming Omaha North in a 66-35 win Thursday in the opening round of the OPS Basketball Jamboree, the season opener for both teams.
After scuffling its way to just 25 first-half points, Central got on track to start the second half, scoring the first 11 points after the break and putting up 28 points in the third quarter.
“We had our moments,” Central coach Eric Behrens said. “We just had to get a little more comfortable. Once we got going there, we got some confidence. And we hit some shots.”
The four-time defending champions got 17 points from senior guard Austin McGaugh, including 11 in the third quarter.
Division I prospect Tre'Shawn Thurman added 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds, while transfer Jarek Coles chipped in 12 in his Central debut.
North was still within striking distance late in the second quarter, cutting the Eagle lead to 10 just before halftime.
But the cushion ballooned to 32 early in the fourth before both teams went to their benches.
“If we don't find shooters like we didn't there for a long stretch, teams as good as Central are going to get up quick and go,” first-year North coach Jared Anderson said. “It was curtains after that.”
North got a team-leading 13 points off the bench from forward Kendall Patton.
Behrens said his Eagles, playing without most of the stars from recent championship squads, are looking forward to making a name for themselves.
“They want to do their own thing,” Behrens said. “They want to prove they can do it on their own and their way.”
The Eagles will get that chance in Saturday's Jamboree championship against top-ranked Omaha Benson, a winner Thursday over No. 3 Omaha South.
“It will be a great test,” Behrens said.
Omaha Central (1-0).............................10 15 28 13—66
At Omaha North (0-1).............................5 9 8 13—35
OC: Jarek Coles 12, Zay Turnbo 3, Kzhan Jimmerson 1, Marcus Polk 6, Magay Agau 8, LaTrell Jameson 1, Austin McGaugh 17, Tre'Shawn Thurman 16, Daishon Neal 2.
ON: Justin Patton 4, Patrick Jemison 3, Dustin Agnew 2, Trevor Ammons 3, Davion Reed 6, Howard Glass III 4, Kendall Patton 13.
* * *
Omaha Central girls 59, Omaha North 40
Elexis Martinez scored 12 points and No. 10 Omaha Central won in the OPS Jamboree to move into Saturday's championship. Twelve players scored Thursday for Central.
Imani Brown led North with 12 points.
Omaha Central (1-0)........................15 16 13 15—59
At Omaha North (0-1).........................5 11 6 18—40
OC: Charita Dailey 2, Megan Gamble 4, Tiani White 5, Shylia Riley 2, Elexis Martinez 12, Taylor Gunter 7, Keaundra Washington 6, Jacquelyn Beaugard 9, Yaasmyn Spivey 8, Johnae Allen 4.
ON: Emani Stingley 8, Makayla Aspegren 6, Jasmine Colvin 1, Imani Brown 12, Maggie Rooney 1, Brusha Cobbs 2, Danielle Bynum 10.