Two Top 10 teams needing a win played a makeup game Monday night, and it showed.

Neither No. 8 Omaha Creighton Prep nor No. 10 Millard North seemed to be enjoying themselves as Prep won 47-45.

“Our team didn’t look like it was having fun,’’ Prep coach Josh Luedtke said. “We played really tight, and that’s unusual for our teams. Anytime you lose two in a row and you go to Prep (for school), it weighs on you a little bit. But they fought, they clawed, they found a way to win.”

Prep (13-3) avoided its first three-game losing streak in five years by exploiting its matchup inside with Husker-bound Akol Arop. The returning All-Nebraska forward snapped out of a four-game slump by scoring 25 points — 12 came in the first quarter — on 11 of 15 shooting and quickly got Millard North’s 6-foot-8 Max Murrell to the bench with fouls.

Murrell played three minutes of the second half before fouling out with three points — he opened the game with a 3. More about that shot later.

Arop’s teammates are still in a slump as Luedtke keeps looking for a third consistent scorer. Take out Arop’s night, and Prep was a combined 7 of 25, 28 percent, with CJ Wolfe’s seven points the most in that group. Usual No. 2 scorer Thomas Faber had only five points, but he expended a lot guarding Power Five prospect Hunter Sallis of Millard North.

“I thought Thomas impacted the game big-time by defending their best player,’’ Luedtke said. “He didn’t make some 3s, but he also helped handle the ball, got to the rim a little bit.”

Millard North lost for the fifth time in six games to fall to 7-7. In that stretch were two losses to No. 5 Omaha Central and setbacks against No. 2 Lincoln Pius X and No. 1 Bellevue West. The puzzler was last Thursday’s 55-50 home loss to Omaha Burke (6-8).

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“It was a pretty tough stretch,’’ Mustangs coach Tim Cannon said. “You just try to play to win the next game and see if we can put something together.”

The schedule lightens a lot for them. Seven of their final eight games are against sub-.500 teams, the exception Saturday’s game at Omaha Bryan (9-5).

The Mustangs were woeful on 3-pointers, missing all 13 tries between Murrell’s game-opener and the 3 Sallis threw in uncontested at the final buzzer. They never trailed by more than nine and worked hard to gain a 42-42 tie with 2:03 left on Jake Rueschhoff’s basket following Mason Jung rebounding Rueschhoff’s missed 3.

Prep wisely went to Arop for the go-ahead basket — he missed the and-1 — and Millard North had three empty possessions in a row — a travel call, a missed one-and-one and finally Rueschhoff’s missed 3 that would have tied it with less than 10 seconds left.

Cannon is taking the patience route with a lineup with only two senior starters — Rueschhoff and 6-6 Bret Porter, who guarded Arop in Murrell’s absence. Murrell is a junior, Sallis a sophomore and 6-5 Jasen Green a freshman.

Sallis, who is young for his grade, needs to be the take-charge guy another Power Five-level sophomore, Chucky Hepburn, is for Bellevue West. Sallis is a 60 percent shooter — he was 8 of 12 for a team-high 19 points against the Junior Jays — and distributes it well, although his teammates need to finish better — they were 10 of 37 (27 percent).

“It’s a two-point game, and if we make some shots it’s a different story,’’ Cannon said. “I give them credit. (Prep’s) good, but we can make shots better than that. Especially with Arop they affect shots, but I thought we fought hard.”

Prep’s week continues Friday with a home game against Omaha Northwest and a visit Saturday to Lincoln North Star, which has an NU pledge in guard Donovan Williams to pair with Arop for a peek at the Huskers’ future.

“It was just an ugly game, an ugly Monday night,’’ Luedtke said. “But it was two good teams. They were No. 2 in the preseason for a reason. But a win’s a win.”

Millard North (7-7).................11  10  9  15—45

At Creighton Prep (13-3)......14  11  12  10—47

MN: Jake Rueschhoff 2, Hunter Sallis 19, Mason Jung 4, Jasen Green 8, Max Murrell 3, Bret Porter 7, Adam Parra 2.

OCP: Akol Arop 25, Robert Peters 2, Thomas Faber 5, CJ Wolfe 7, Louis Hacker 2, Mai’jhe Wiley 1, AJ Rollins 5.

Reporter - High school sports

Stu is The World-Herald's lead writer for high school sports and for golf. Follow him on Twitter @stuOWH. Phone: 402-444-1041.

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