Bunnies run past Cowboys at Classic

Omaha Benson’s Khyri Thomas, left, comes down with the rebound against Boys Town’s Khyalil Hawkins, No. 30, as Benson went on to earn an 83-54 win at Ralston Arena.

Omaha Benson extinguished Boys Town’s thoughts of a upset Friday night with a blowout second quarter in the Nebraska Prep Classic.

The Bunnies outscored their Class C-1 opponent 27-9, erasing a one-point Cowboy lead, in taking an 83-54 win at Raslton Arena.

“We got down and guarded, got some defensive stops to get us going,” Benson coach Donnie Johnson said.

Boys Town scored the last six points of the first quarter, with a 3-pointer from 6-foot-3 freshman Corey Ponds good for the defending Class C-1 state champion’s only lead of the game.

Top 10 No. 4 Benson (8-4) then went on a 25-4 run to start the second quarter. Seven Bunnies scored in the rally, with Khyri Thomas chipping in five points, Tyree Peter four, Deion Wells-Ross four and Thik Bol four on a pair of dunks.

“We had shots go in and out and Benson was getting to the rim, getting some calls and making their free throws,” said Boys Town coach Tom Krehbiel, who also is a co-organizer of the Prep Classic.

“When Benson shoots like that and is into the game like that, there’s only two or three teams in the state that can beat them.”

Peter led all scorers with 15 points. Thomas had 14, with Wells-Ross and Bol getting 10 apiece.

It was an unusual week for the Bunnies with back-to-back games outside the Metro Conference, the first requiring a school-night trip to Kearney on Thursday to pick up a 67-54 win.

Johnson said he thought the Bunnies were a little leg-weary at the start, but summoned up better energy as the game went on.

Johnson played his entire roster, with all but one player scoring.

“We wanted to try to get everybody in and give them a chance to play in here,” Johnson said. “It’s an unbelievable arena.”

The Class C-1 No. 8 Cowboys (7-5), who were missing two starters for disciplinary measures and had four players sitting out in all, got 14 points from Ponds and David Austin added 11. Austin is the only starter left from last year’s team that went 27-1.

“We’re still trying to find ourselves,’’ Krehbiel said. “It was good for us to play Benson and to play in this atmosphere.”

Co-organizer Jim Huffman said Friday’s paid admissions were close to 1,000. He said he hopes Saturday’s six-game card, starting at 1:45 with hometown Ralston playing Class A Lincoln Pius X, can draw at least double the first-day turnout.

Boys Town (7-5) ................. 16 9 15 14—54

Omaha Benson (8-4) ................. 15 27 20 21—83

BT: Corey Ponds 14, David Austin 11, KZ Williams 10, Raekwon Green 5, Jal Chuar 4, Khyalil Hawkins 4, Drequan McNeill-Smith 4, Daquan Johnson 2.

B: Tyree Peter 15, Khyri Thomas 14, Thik Bol 10, Deion Wells-Ross 10, Brandon Reed 6, Maurice Buckley 6, Danny Barfield 4, Michol Bradley 4, Tyrone Clayton 4, Mar’Shun Stewart 3, Jay Bartling 3, Byron Snoddy 2.

Papillion-La Vista South 53, Millard North 35

The Storm (5-7) ended a three-game losing streak as they matched their season-best defensive performance.

Michaell Herrmann had 15 points and Aaron Rothermund 14 for Papio South, which led 14-4 after the first quarter.

Millard North (4-7) scored the first five points of the final quarter to trim the Titans’ lead to 38-31, but was outscored 15-4 down the stretch.

Returning All-Nebraska players Josiah Gustafson had three 3s and a team-high 15 points for the Mustangs.

Papillion-LV South (5-7) ................. 14 8 16 15—53

Millard North (4-7) ................. 4 13 9 9—35

PS: Brent Kirsch 7, Arrington Blackwell 2, Zach Gregersen 2, John Swift 2, Aaron Rothermund 14, Michael Herrmann 15, Tyler Johnson 2, Christian Schneider 1, Jay Sayers 3, Isiah Martin 5

MN: Josiah Gustafson 15, Zane Stull 9, Dillon Nelson 3, Zarek Steed 1, Nate Walter 5, Brett Begley 2

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