At the time Saturday, their coaches didn’t sense that Ale’jah Douglas of Omaha Northwest and Jayme Horan of Millard South put on a show for the ages.
The pair set their schools’ single-game scoring records in the best duel ever in a Metro Conference game. Maybe in any girls basketball game in the state.
Douglas tied the Metro record with 43 points in the Huskies’ 72-71 loss to preseason Top 10 No. 1 Millard South. Horan had 37.
“It would have been nice to get the win, but she was amazing,’’ Northwest coach Genese Hodges said of her junior. “It was a silent 43, to be honest with you. I knew she was scoring but didn’t know she had that many.”
“She was playing in foul trouble and still played — and played with intensity. She kept going.”
Douglas, 5-foot-4, was 13 of 20 from the field with four 3s and perfect on 13 free throws in matching the 43 points Leah Turner of Omaha North scored in a 1992 district tournament game against Bellevue West.
Two nights before, Douglas had 26 points against Omaha Benson.
“She’s always had potential,’’ Hodges said. “Her focus has changed. She’s constantly working on her game outside the school and it’s helped improve her play.”
Millard South coach Bryce Meyers believes Horan’s 37 is the school record, although single-game records there are incomplete. She made 18 of 22 free throws.
“It was just her overall ability to take the whole game over,’’ Meyers said. “Maddie Krull fouled out after being in foul trouble in the second and third quarters and Kenzi Holt fouled out. Jayme took it upon herself to continue to score, rebound, a little bit of everything. It was great to see.”
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2-0 start for Benson
Of all the boys teams that are 2-0, Omaha Benson ranks high on the unexpected list. The Bunnies, 1-21 last season, beat Omaha Northwest 65-61 and Millard South 57-56.
“It’s not only that we have two wins and it took 16 for us to get that first one,” second-year coach Tyrie Fant said, “it’s the way the games went down the stretch, close games. If we work hard and execute our game plan, playing with intensity on defense and rebounding and getting back in transition, we can have success.”
Fant, who came to Benson from the Omaha South program, said this team is buying in to the building and rebranding of the program. Among the weekend’s highlights were Denim Johnson getting 19 points and nine rebounds against Northwest and Dylan Houston scoring 22 on Millard South.
“Denim was aggressive and played with a lot of passion,’’ Fant said. “Then Dylan really came through for us. We have no bigs, to tell you the truth, so he was able to work the gaps in their zone, look to pass or to penetrate and score.”
With KeShon Henderson running the show at point guard, Benson steps up Friday to visit top-ranked Bellevue West.
“We’re looking forward to it,’’ Fant said. “All the players know each other and they’re really pumped up. We have to go in there and execute our game plan. We have focus and respect our opponents, but I’ll take my guys in a firefight every time.”
Central’s Wrightsell injured
Omaha Central could be without one of its top two returning starters for a while as junior Latrell Wrightsell Jr. heals a broken finger on his left hand. He got it caught in a jersey in the opening-night win over Omaha Bryan, had it taped up and scored 23 — but missed Saturday’s win over Omaha North.
Eagles coach Eric Behrens said he’s unsure what the time frame is for Wrightsell’s return. His absence makes John Tonje the primary scoring threat, and the senior captain had 22 of his 27 points against North in the first half.
St. Cecilia’s Tesmer retires
Carl Tesmer recently announced his retirement as Hastings St. Cecilia’s football coach, ending a career of 349 wins and three state titles.
“I’m going to miss it terribly after 47 years,’’ said Tesmer, whose last team qualified for the Class C-2 playoffs.
He said Ken Fischer, the longtime Grand Island coach who recently died, and Larry Toner in Grand Island “helped me out in time of biggest need. (Fischer) really had a heart of gold. The toughness in him comes from the job. It’s how you survive.”
Rings after 48 years
When they won the 1970 NAIA wrestling championship, UNO received championship watches. Their rings came 48 years later.
Curlee Alexander, the retired Omaha Tech and North coach, said team members ordered rings and received them at a dinner at Anthony’s steak house in November.
“Denny Cozad thought it would be a good idea to get rings after all these years,’’ Alexander said.
At the dinner were Bernie Hospodka, Melvin Washington, Lou Rotella, Cozad and Alexander. Other team members living are Paul Martinez, Bruce Strauss, Landy Waller and Jordan Smith. Deceased are Rich Emsick, Gary Kipfmiller and Dhafir Muhammad and coach Don Benning.
If you’ve wondered when our All-Metro, All-Omaha Area, All-Nebraska and all-state teams would appear, the parade starts this week with volleyball. The Metro and Omaha area teams are Saturday and the All-Nebraska and all-state teams are Sunday. Football follows the same schedule on Dec. 14 and 15.
2018 NebHSRecruiting Top 50 Basketball Showcase testing results
The state's best boys basketball players came together for the NebHSRecruiting Top 50 showcase on Aug. 1. Here are the results from the testing portion of the camp, including height/weight, wingspan, standing reach, no-step vertical jump and handsize. All players are listed alphabetically by last name.