One of the hottest teams in Class C-1 is its Old Faithful, Wahoo.
But the Warriors can't cool off if they want to keep alive a remarkable streak of reliability that would make even that geyser envious: 30 consecutive winning seasons in boys basketball. As far as I can tell — and records certainly are incomplete — no school ever strung together more (no .500 records, either.)
Wahoo's record was 3-8 after a 85-71 home loss to Platteview on Jan. 15. Since then, coach Kevin Scheef's team has won six straight to reach 9-8.
The last three came in the Capitol Conference tournament. Wahoo knocked off top-seeded Fort Calhoun 58-50 in the semifinals and then avenged its loss to Platteview with a 58-46 win in the final Saturday at Douglas County West in Valley. It was the sixth consecutive conference tournament crown for the Warriors.
"This team has made a ton of growth. I am very proud of them for continuing to work hard and not giving up when we were sitting at 3-8 a little over two weeks ago," Scheef said.
Wahoo's work is not done. It has games Friday at Arlington and Saturday at Grand Island Central Catholic, hosts Class C-1 No. 1 Columbus Scotus on Tuesday and ends the regular season with games against Columbus Lakeview, Ashland-Greenwood and Schuyler.
If the Warriors go 4-2 or better in those games, they're home free for a 31st consecutive winning season regardless of what happens in their subdistrict. There, they'd likely have to play No. 6 Boys Town in the semifinals with the winner meeting No. 2 Wahoo Neumann in the finals. If Wahoo goes 3-3, then it would have to win the semifinal.
The second-longest active streak is by Beatrice, which has secured its 27th in a row. Next, at 21, are Neumann and Class D-2 No. 1 Humphrey St. Francis.
Omaha Central can wrap up its 16th winning season in a row by beating Lincoln Southeast on Saturday. Southeast saw its streak end last year at 17, which may be the longest for Class A. Again, records are incomplete and readers are encouraged to let me know of longer streaks.
Two other noteworthy streaks of the past were 23 straight by Falls City Sacred Heart, which ended in 2010, and 22 by Grant, which ended in 1985.
Undefeated, winless teams
The state is down to five undefeated boys teams entering this weekend, and thankfully there are only six winless teams.
Those still perfect are Omaha South (18-0) in Class A, Scotus (18-0) in C-1, Winnebago (20-0) and Amherst (17-0) in C-2 and St. Francis (19-0) in D-2. Winnebago's 40-game winning streak is the longest active in the state.
The winless teams are Bellevue East (0-15) in Class A and five in D-2 - Meridian (016), Stapleton (0-15), Banner County (0-13), Elba (0-11) and Bellevue Cornerstone (0-7). But since Winside ended its 77-game skid — second-longest in state history — in December, the longest active streak is 17 by Meridian.
Prep salutes Wilmot
Nearly 40 former players and coaches attended Omaha Creighton Prep's recent, well-deserved salute to Brother MikeWilmot, who was the Junior Jays' coach from 1971 to 1994.
For those unfamiliar with Wilmot, he was part of a golden age of Metro Conference coaches who kept their seats on the bench for 20 years or more. He took over in 1971 for another Prep coaching legend, TomBrosnihan, and compiled a record of 341-129 with two state titles in 22 seasons (he took a year's leave of absence to be an assistant at Marquette University, his almamater).
Wilmot remains in basketball as an assistant coach at Omaha Roncalli. Prep presented him with an encased No. 1 jersey, and he was on the bench for the Junior Jays' win over Bellevue East.