John Tonje scores 21 to help Top 10 No. 9 Central defeat No. 2 Creighton Prep

Omaha Central’s John Tonje dunks in the second half. Tonje scored 21 points for the Eagles.

When PJ Ngambi is good, his coach said, Omaha Westside is generally good.

It was true Saturday in the Nebraska Prep Classic, in which Class A No. 10 Westside extended its winning streak to four with a 68-46 win over Missouri’s Kansas City Central.

Ngambi received the game’s MVP award after scoring 16 points, one off his season and career high. He made 7 of 9 shots, including a pair of 3s. The 6-foot junior guard ran the Warriors’ show for the final six minutes of the first half with fellow junior Jadin Booth sitting next to coach Jim Simons with two fouls.

“PJ, at times gets overshadowed by other guys,” Simons said. “We talk about him being a stat-sheet stuffer. He’s capable of impacting the game in so many ways. He’s very quick, both with the ball and without the ball in his hands, he’s becoming a much better decision-maker and he’s a very good shooter when his feet are set.

“The ball runs through him. The ball’s in his hands a lot.”

Chase Thompson had a game-high 21 points for the 10-4 Warriors, including two 3-pointers and three three-point plays in four chances.

Westside was one of three Metro Conference teams to play in the Prep Classic, which moved at the last minute this year to Creighton’s Sokol Arena because of a scheduling conflict at Ralston Arena. Bellevue East lost 62-58 to Class C-1 Boys Town. Omaha Bryan beat Denver East 68-60.

Simon said he’s not one to automatically sit players long in the first half who have two fouls but Ngambi was playing well, the Warriors were in the middle of a 24-point quarter and it can be good long term to learn how to play without Booth.

The second-year Westside coach liked the event, the surroundings and a new opponent.

“It was fun for our guys, and what an awesome arena. It’s the first time we’ve played down here,” he said. “It’s nice to play somebody different. It gives you a different look. They don’t know all of our sets, they don’t know all of our tendencies.

“They’re a very athletic, quick team and the big focus of ours on the short prep we had was to guard the ball, both individually and collectively. We’ll certainly see some teams down the road that are very quick and very good with the ball, so that was good for us.”

Central coach Darrin Young said Westside would be among the top 10 teams on the Missouri side of the Kansas City metro, which is where the Eagles play most of the time. He said he saw the Warriors as well-coached and are a team that shoots well from the perimeter.

Jordan Fortune led the Eagles with 19 points, making 5 of 7 3s.

Omaha Westside (10-4).............8 24 16 20—68

Kansas City Central (9-4).............11 9 7 19—46

OW: Chase Thompson 21, PJ Ngambi 16, Jadin Booth 10. Carl Brown 9, Chandler Meek 8, Reggie Thomas 2, Michael FInan 2.

KCC: Jordan Fortune 19, Roemo Bai 5, Da’Marcus Hawkins 5, Nate Perry 4, Daron Kearney 3, Diante Morton 3, Desmond Kerr 3, Zyair Relford 2, De’Waun Norton 2.

Boys Town 62, Bellevue East 58

This might be Boys Town’s first win against Class A competition since it left the Metro Conference in 1974 — coach and tournament co-director Tom Krehbiel said it’s at least the first while he’s been at the school.

The Cowboys held off Bellevue East in the closing minutes to protect a lead they had throughout the second half. After Fred Knotts scored with 17 seconds left to cut the lead to 60-58, Cory Jackson made two free throws for his only points of the game to seal the win.

Chrishaun Henry, Uzziah Freeman and Davion Saunsoci had 13 points apiece for Class C-1 No. 5 Boys Town. 

Bellevue East (2-11) 13 13 13 19—58

Boys Town (9-5) 7 21 16 18—62

BE: Fred Knotts 19, Joe Skoff 14, Steve Spurgeon 9, Chris Archie 6, Gage Dengel 6, Tre Norman 4.

BT: Chrishaun Henry 13, Uzziah Freeman 13, Davion Saunsoci 13, Jayven Wynn 10, Jahad Hart 9, Cory Jackson 2, Deng Arop 2.

Winnebago 71, CB St. Albert 60

Winnebago spoiled the debut of St. Albert’s Larry Peterson as interim coach. Peterson was promoted from freshman coach Friday to finish out the season after second-year coach Ben Holling was fired from the school.

TJ Frenchman, the Indians’ only senior starter, pumped in 32 points, including four 3s, as the Indians led throughout the final three quarters. 

Winnebago (7-6).................21 14 17 19—71

CB St. Albert (4-10)............20 10 10 20—60

W: TJ Frenchman 32, Javon Price 13, Ed Payer 12, Jeriah GreyOwl 7, Jarius Bass 4, William Wingett 3.

CBSA: Sam Rallis 12, Ryan Hughes 13, Jeff Miller 2, Lance Wright 10, Sam Nasmi 3, Conner Cherry 4, Jared Gast 10, Reed Miller 6.

Other games

After Syracuse’s girls held Elmwood-Murdock to eight points in the first half of a 58-27 win, Elmwood-Murdock’s boys held the Rockets to single digits in every quarter while winning 46-20. The Knights’ Carter Bornemeier, with 12 points, was the only double-digit scorer in either game.

Elmwood-Murdock boys (8-5)..........11 15 9 11—46

Syracuse (8-5)...................................5 4 8 3—20

EM: Carter Bornemeier 12, Massimo Lojing 9, Noah Willey 9, Drake Spohr 6, Nolan Langfeldt 5, Tommy Eggert 3, Nick Longfeldt 2.

S: Grant Stubbendeck 7, Wil McCoy 6, Cooper Carlson 3, Brandon Cavanaugh 2, Ben Nannen 2.

Elmwood-Murdock girls (5-10)............4 4 6 13—27

Syracuse (10-4)..........................8 19 15 16—58

EM: Bailey Frahm 7, Lauren Justensen 7, Jayden Halferty 5, Norina Higuchi 3, Nicole Wenzel 2, Brenna Schmidt 2, Paetyn Florell 1.

S: Meredith Clark 9, Brooklyn Nordhues 9, Grace Damme 8, Halle Wilhelm 7, Sarah Moss 6, Lily Vollertsen 6, Jessie Moss 5, Lauren Meyer 4, Gracie Lintz 2, Lauren Siefken 2.

Central 63, Prep 51

Leading off the afternoon was Top 10 No. 9 Omaha Central’s payback win for a 24-point loss to No. 2 Omaha Creighton Prep in the Metro Conference’s Holiday tournament.

Central’s spark was junior guard Abe Hoskins with an aggressive double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds.

“If we get somebody like him, he’s a 6-foot guard, to get 13 rebounds, that’s huge,” Eagles coach Eric Behrens said. “We need our guards to carry the load because we don’t have a true post player.”

Hoskins made back-to-back 3s during an eight-point first half and had five boards.

Prep lost the lead for good after Husker signee Akol Arop sat the final 2:48 of the half with two fouls. A basket by John Tonje, who scored his game-high 21 points in the first three quarters, tied the game and Max Polk had two baskets in the final minute for a 29-25 lead at halftime.

Prep’s 3-point shooters are struggling. Since hitting 50 percent against Omaha South and 38 percent against Central in the Holiday tournament, they’ve had games of 13, 27, 27, 32, 25 and, Saturday, 14 percent (3 of 21).

Arop also went without a rebound in the middle two quarters. He had 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting — he’s 24 of 55 (44 percent) in his past four games to lower his season mark to 62 percent.

Prep tries to avoid its first three-game losing streak since February 2014 on Monday, when it makes up its postponed home game against No. 10 Millard North.

Omaha Central (11-5)...........................14 15 19 15—63

At Omaha Creighton Prep (12-3)..............16 9 12 14—51

OC: John Tonje 21, Latrell Wrightsell 15, Abe Hoskins 12, Max Polk 7, Faisun Germany 4, Jason Warner 2, Goy Panom 2.

CP: Akol Arop 15, Thomas Faber 13, Spencer Schomers 7, Robert Peters 6, AJ Rollins 6, Louis Hacker 2, CJ Wolfe 2.

Bryan 68, Denver East 60

Javen Udofia was the game’s MVP by scoring 18 of his game-high 24 points in the second half. But it was Samuel Gregory who caught fire first in breaking a 30-30 halftime tie.

After only a 2-point first half, the 6-1 forward had 11 points in the third quarter that ended with Bryan (9-5) ahead 52-44. Udofia had 12 of the Class A No. 9 Bears’ 16 points in the final stanza.

Denver East star Kwane Marble, who recently re-committed to Wyoming after decommitting last fall, had 22 points amid foul trouble. No one else for the Angels had more than nine as they fell to 8-7 in a rebuilding season.

Omaha Bryan (9-5).........18 12 22 16—68

Denver East (8-7)...........13 17 14 16—60

OB: Javen Udofia 24, Samuel Gregory 15, Jonathan Montalvo 13, Jerome Wallace 6, Lam Kuany 4, William Grixby 3, Jailyn Spears 2, Tywon Terrell 1.

DE: Kwane Marble 22, Langston Reynolds 9, Patrick Steed 6, Thomas Connelly 6, Rashawn Wilson 5, Clayton Finley-Ponds 5, Caulen Swain 4, Boston Stanton 3.

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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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